Fears that Bothasig liquor store burglary may restart looting trend
Potelwa said preliminary reports indicated that at 4.35am the owner of a liquor outlet located at Village Centre, in Vryburger Drive, Bothasig, was alerted to the activation of an alarm system by a security company.
“On arrival (at the premises), he discovered that the security gates in front of the store had been forcibly removed and a window next to the door had been broken. A substantial quantity of high-end liquor had been stolen,” Potelwa said.
She said a case of burglary and theft at a business premises was subsequently opened by Bothasig police.
The burglary raised concerns it marked the beginning a trend of liquor stores being looted, as happened during the first ban during which at least 16 liquor outlets in the Western Cape were looted.
SA Liquor Brandowners Association chief executive Kurt Moore said the alcohol industry was given no warning of the ban, nor any opportunity to consult with the National Coronavirus Command Centre before a decision was made.
He said no consideration had been given to the immediate logistical difficulties this posed for suppliers, distributors and retailers alike.
Moore said for retailers, holding stock created a significant security risk and “we are working with suppliers to transfer stock back to central depots as quickly as possible”.
“The alcohol industry is appealing to the government for better policing,” Moore said.
Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance in SA director Maurice Smithers said they did not think there would be a dramatic increase in burglaries.
Potelwa said anyone with information that could help expedite the investigation was urged to contact Sergeant Jonathan Kriel, at 021 558 3688, or the Bothasig Detective standby number, 079 894 0095.
“Information can also be shared at 0860010111 or via the MySAPS app.”@SISONKE_MD