Gunmen target Verulam businesses
A VERULAM councillor has voiced concern over the increase in crime in the area after two business robberies at the weekend.
The first happened on Saturday in Everest Heights where three gunmen robbed a supermarket and shot a 39-year-old man. Two people were arrested and are expected to appear in court soon.
On Sunday evening, another robbery occurred at Debonairs Pizza where gunmen opened fire at a Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) officer.
Police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala said a case of business robbery was being investigated.
“It’s alleged on Wick Street four suspects entered the premises and held the employees at gunpoint. They took an undisclosed amount of cash from the till. A panic button was pressed and private security responded. There was a shoot-out and no injuries,” she said.
There have been no arrests yet.
Ward councillor Johnson Chetty commended the quick response from Rusa, but said he was disturbed that the robberies had occurred in close proximity to the Verulam SAPS and metro police stations.
“Businesses have become increasingly soft targets for criminals. One wonders what would happen if we didn’t have private security services responding to these incidents.”
Chetty attributed the latest incidents to law enforcement operating on limited resources and a lack of police presence in the community.
Verulam Community Police Forum chairperson Duncan Dube appealed for a closer relationship between the public and police.
“People are going through a rough time right now, but the disregard for lives is concerning. So the public needs to have a close relationship with law enforcement to address what’s a societal issue.”