Robbers have targeted the same shop at Kenilworth Centre twice in just over a month.
A few months ago, new fencing was put up at the mall and booms installed in what is now a paid parking area. But none of that deterred the five men who held up customers and staff at Telkom store on Tuesday October 3.
The same store had been robbed on Friday night August 25.
In the latest incident – which brings the robbery count up to four this year – the robbers only got away with a customer’s cellphone before fleeing.
Reports on social media claimed shots had been fired, but the police and mall management denied that and said no-one had been injured.
“The circumstances are being investigated and no one has been arrested as yet,” said provincial police spokesman Colonel André Traut.
In the August, robbers escaped with an undisclosed number of cellphones and tablets.
MTN and Foschini were also targeted in the same week in May this year, leaving many questioning the security measures at the mall.
“The priority of the centre management is the safety of our shoppers, tenants and employees,” said a mall management representative.
But management were tight-lip about their security plans for the approaching festive season, when full tills at malls put them at greater risk of getting robbed.
People claiming to have witnessed Tuesday’s robbery were adamant that shots had been fired.
Kim da Costa said: “Obviously the centre will say no shots fired; they need customers back. My friend and I were there and ran through the centre after hearing shots fired. Some people even hid in the Wimpy office.”
Dave Bowman said: “It happened just before midday. Was real scary. There was absolute chaos! We were right there in the midst of the people scattering in all directions. Some folk weren’t hassled at all and walked around as though nothing happened.”
Dianne Womersley commented on the Facebook Kenilworth Community group saying: “There was yet another robbery there today. Seems like a regular monthly occurrence now that there is pay for parking. I certainly won’t be going back, and I’ve been shopping there since it opened.”