Man arrested after iStore armed robbery
Cape Town - A man has been arrested for an armed robbery at the iStore in Canal Walk, Cape Town, police said on Friday.
A 33-year-old was apprehended at a residence in Strand on Thursday, Lt-Col Andrè Traut said.
“It is suspected that the suspect formed part of a group of men who robbed the business [on Wednesday] of a number of cellular phones and other electronic devices,” he said.
“We are hot on the heels of the other suspects and the possibility of more arrests is not ruled out.”
On Wednesday night six armed men shot their way out of Canal Walk after robbing the iStore and wounding a security guard.
The men burst into the Apple reseller at 8.10pm and fled with a number of iPhones.
During the getaway, they crashed their white Honda Ballade into the car of a 36-year-old security guard.
“Their vehicle collided with the vehicle of a security officer, who was shot and wounded,” said police spokesman Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana.
Kinana said the robbers had managed to get away in the Ballade.
On Thursday, Canal Walk management expressed its concern at the spate of incidents at a number of malls across the country.
Canal Walk chief executive Gavin Wood said: “We assure all of our customers that we take our zero-tolerance stance against crime seriously.
“This is a priority considering the times we live in and we will continue to look at ways to combat such incidents in the future.”
The violence is the latest incident in a spate of robberies at malls.
On September 23 a four-month pregnant woman, Tasneem Essa, was robbed of her cellphone and dragged almost 20m by the occupants of a car just outside the doors of Canal Walk.
In another incident, in a parking lot at the V&A Waterfront, a man was robbed of jewellery by five armed men on October 1.
There have been other armed robberies at Somerset, Blue Route and Zevenwacht shopping malls recently.
Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said police needed a “clear strategy” in place ahead of the festive season to tackle armed robberies at shopping malls.
Plato said shop and mall robberies had been on the increase not just in the Western Cape, but across the country with hard-hit areas including Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
“I have put the issue of mall and store robberies on the agenda to be discussed with provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-Colonel Arno Lamoer at our next meeting.
“While I appreciate that the police are busy working on plans to protect malls, these should be put in place and communicated to the public earlier, rather than later,” Plato said.
He said the strategy needed to be in place and communicated well ahead of the upcoming summer festive season.
“In Gauteng, the South African Council of Shopping Centres recently met the SAPS to discuss mall safety for shoppers and retailers.
“Similar pro-active action is necessary in the Western Cape.”