A Shoprite Liquorshop in Newtown Junction, Johannesburg has been robbed in bizarre fashion by thieves who tunnelled through a solid concrete floor. Picture: Supplied
A Shoprite Liquorshop in Newtown Junction, Johannesburg has been robbed in bizarre fashion by thieves who tunnelled through a solid concrete floor. Picture: Supplied

Thieves tunnel into Joburg liquor store to steal alcohol worth R300 000

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jun 1, 2020

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Johannesburg - Thieves tunnelled through a concrete floor to rob a Shoprite Liquorshop in Newtown Junction, Johannesburg. 

The manager of the Shoprite Liquorshop in Newtown Junction discovered the theft – and a large hole in the ground – when she entered the store on Friday, May 29. She was returning to prepare for the store’s reopening under the easing level 3 lockdown conditions on June 1.

With alcohol in high demand during the lockdown period, the store was secured from the outside throughout. But the suspects avoided the mall’s main entrance and instead used electrical and stormwater tunnels beneath the shopping centre to gain access to an area beneath the store.

They then tunnelled through the concrete floor directly into the liquor shop to gain access undetected.

A Shoprite Liquorshop in Newtown Junction, Johannesburg has been robbed in bizarre fashion by thieves who tunnelled through a solid concrete floor. Picture: Supplied

It is unclear how the thieves knew where to tunnel, nor how long it took them to get through the thick concrete floor, but they returned a few times to steal a large amount of stock.

According to Oswald Meiring, the Shoprite Group's Loss Control Manager, the suspects were first recorded on CCTV cameras on May 21, 10 days before liquor sales were allowed.

Footage from inside the store shows three suspects, although more may have remained in the tunnel to help move the large quantity of liquor stolen.

Meiring says the thieves made off with whisky, brandy, gin, cider, vodka, and beer estimated at R300 000.

A R50 000 reward, subject to terms and conditions, has been made available for information which leads to a successful arrest. People with information can call 0800 118 879 or email [email protected]

A Shoprite Liquorshop in Newtown Junction, Johannesburg was robbed by thieves who tunnelled through a concrete floor. Picture: Supplied
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