Durban - Video footage of a boy stealing a cellphone from the desk of a receptionist at a hair salon in Chatsworth has gone viral on social media.
The boy wearing a red cap, believed to be around the age of 8, is seen walking into the salon with two other middle-aged women.
The women then approach the receptionist for assistance and she takes them a few steps away from her desk where they chat.
The receptionist left her cellphone on the side of her desk.
While the women chat the boy is seen lingering around the receptionist's desk.
While looking at the women he makes two attempts to take the cellphone but on both occasions, the receptionist turns back.
He, however, covers his tracks and walks around aimlessly. On this third attempt, he quickly grabs the phone and puts it in his back pocket.
The boy is seen walking toward the women. Once the women notice him standing next to them they quickly leave the store.
A video of a child stealing a cellphone at a hair salon in Chatsworth has gone viral. Picture: Supplied
Chairperson of the Shallcross Community Forum Mahendra Lillkan, who posted the video, said the major concern is that it seems like the child is being groomed into a criminal.
"It is certain that he will soon escalate to more serious criminal activity. We want to stop this now before its too late for the poor child."
KZN police said the incident was not reported to police.
Last week, a Facebook user uploaded CCTV footage of an incident from a restaurant in Tyger Valley where his wife's handbag was stolen. The video shows two families seated back-to-back in the booths. The child at the table reaches behind his seat and pulls out a handbag which he passes to the woman seated across from him. Then seconds later a fourth person joins them at the table. She picks up the handbag and leaves the restaurant, quickly pursued by the rest of the family.
In November in the Western Cape, footage from a mall showed a woman with three children hovering over the food court. The woman pretends to be on her cellphone while two of the children attempt to grab a woman's handbag. After a few tries, a little girl is seen grabbing the handbag, which is on the floor, while the owner is completely unaware. The children and woman then quickly walk away.