THE MENLYN Park Shopping Centre is to step up security before the festive season following a robbery at Arthur Kaplan Jewellers yesterday morning.
Wesley Scott, spokesman for the shopping centre, said the festive season brought increased foot traffic, and Menlyn Park would implement a separate security plan.
This is to be over and above the everyday vigilance of members of the security personnel at the centre. Menlyn attracts about 1.8 million shoppers during the festive season.
Sunnyside cluster police spokesman Warrant Officer Marinda Austin-Swanepoel said there would be more visible policing around shopping centres in the region as the build-up to the “silly season” gained momentum.
“A special focus will be on banks and jewellery stores in shopping centres as these are often top targets for criminals during the festive season,” said Austin-Swanepoel.
Just before 7am yesterday, four or five men entered the mall through a delivery passage, police said.
They entered the jewellery store, where two employees were taking stock. The intruders, who were wearing balaclavas, tied up the two Arthur Kaplan staff members with cables.
They then opened the safe and took watches and other pieces of jewellery.
The men left the store at about 6.53am and are believed to have been caught on surveillance cameras.
Scott said: “The shop manager pressed the panic button and security personnel at the centre alerted emergency services. Police were on the scene promptly for investigation. We can confirm that no one was injured, and shoppers were not inconvenienced.
“As the robbery happened before trading hours, no shoppers were inconvenienced. The police investigation will draw on the surveillance and other security resources at the centre.”
Arthur Kaplan was closed for business after the robbery.
A notice on the door read: “Due to stock taking the store will not open today.”
There were a few staff members in the store, but no one was willing to talk to the Pretoria News about the robbery.
At least three neighbouring shop owners said they were not aware of the robbery as it took place before they opened for the day.
Police are investigating.