Only to be arrested with tens of thousands of rands of cigarettes minutes later.
Cape Town – Armed robbers who thought they had hit the jackpot today when they stole cigarettes worth tens of thousands of rands from a Cape Town CBD convenience store were promptly nabbed by Cape Town Central City Improvement District’s (CCID) Public Safety Officers and arrested by SAPS.
The robbery happened in broad daylight at Friend’s Café on the corner of Long and Castle streets when three men stormed into the store and held up the shopkeeper at knifepoint. The suspects stole three bags packed with cigarette cartons, two cell phones, cash and a watch.
Minutes after being alerted to the robbery, CCID Public Safety Officers gave chase and caught two of the three suspects, while also recovering all the stolen goods. They then called for assistance from SAPS, who arrived on the scene with lightning speed and cordoned off the area.
CCID manager of Safety & Security Mo Hendricks commended the CCID officers and SAPS for apprehending and arresting the suspects.
“It was a fantastic arrest. I’m proud of the diligence of the CCID PSOs in protecting people in the CBD as well as possessions especially during this period. The SAPS also deserves high praise, especially Captain Richard Lourens, as the crime scene was cordoned off within minutes of the police being alerted by our PSOs to the incident.”
SAPS detectives also swiftly arrived on the scene to open a docket “and ensure that the chain of evidence was being maintained”, Hendricks said.
The suspects were arrested and taken to Cape Town Central Police Station.
Hendricks said the arrest was testimony to the successful lockdown strategy of the CCID Safety & Security department, which changed its deployment of its safety officers when the nationwide lockdown was enforced with the focus on business and house break-ins, destruction of property and malicious damage to property.
“Our officers were therefore close by and alert when this robbery took place and able to swiftly apprehend the suspects,” Hendricks said.
According to Hendricks, crime across all categories has decreased in the Cape Town Central City since the national lockdown was enforced on 26 March 2020.
“I’m very happy that our strategy is working and that crime across all categories has decreased dramatically. If a crime does occur, like in this case, we manage to catch the suspects.”
Recent statistics released by CCID Safety & Security revealed that crime in the CBD had dropped by 76 % reduction since the lockdown began. Only 35 crimes were recorded from 27 March 2020 to 15 April 2020, compared with 151 crime incidents during the same period last year.