Durban - It seems as though major shopping complexes and retail stores around Durban have become hotspots for criminals who target unsuspecting customers for their phones and wallets.
In yet another wave of criminality, consumers shared their experiences online about how they have been robbed of their belongings while shopping.
In most of the instances, the modus operandi is similar.
A group of people approach you acting like they need help while another one of their accomplices rob you of your belongings without you knowing.
In most of the instances the suspects are a team of women and men.
On the Chatsworth crime watch group, a resident posted a message about their experience at a Durban retailer on Tuesday.
“Last night my daughter went to Checkers Malvern. As she entered right by the fruit and veg area 2 women on either side of her were pushing her. Then a man came to the front of the trolley and was pulling her trolley and she asked him what he was doing. She felt on either side of her 2 hands in her jacket pockets the woman tried to get her stuff out of her pocket.
“She screamed and approached the staff and they were so unhelpful. She demanded the video footage as there was another elderly lady that was also robbed just before her at the managers desk. So please be vigilant. It is 2 women and a male he distracts you and they rob you,” the resident said.
Another resident, Taryn Chetty, commented about how she was also robbed at a retail store in the Chatsworth area.
“This also happened to me in take n pay Chatsworth about a month back. 2 young black women were following me all over and I didn’t even realise. The one spoke to me while the other opened my bag. They stole my phone. I only realised 20 minutes later but by then my phone was already off. The staff tried to assist but they were already gone,” Chetty said.
Trishyam Lutchman said she also suffered the same fate.
“It happened to me at Gateway Checkers. It was two young black females and a well dressed male, you have to watch your phones and wallets in the malls,” Lutchman said.
Kerryleigh Naidu from Durban told IOL she was pickpocketed for her cell phone while shopping at Mr Price store in the Galleria mall.
Naidu said the staff tried to help her locate the suspects but camera footage showed they left the store. She said it was a weekday and the store was quiet.
“I went to exchange something at Mr Price. I was in the store for two minutes. An African lady came and stood next to me and started speaking to me and asked me about the jeans.
“I went to the till to pay and noticed my phone was gone from my bag. I tried retracing my steps and eventually spoke to management. I asked if I could see the camera footage.
“They looked at it and said while I was looking at the jeans and the lady was speaking to me, another woman came from behind me, reached into my bag and took my phone.
“It was three people working together, because they said that another guy was standing and looking at the security to make sure they don’t get caught,” Naidu said.