Robbery season hits Hyde Park mall

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Johannesburg - The hunt is on for a gang of 15 armed men who broke into the Hyde Park Shopping Mall on Thursday morning.

Sandton police spokesperson Inspector Moses Maphakela said the men arrived at the mall in a silver Mercedes Benz, a white Ford Fiesta, a Honda Ballade and a white double-cab Ford Ranger. They gained entry into the mall by breaking a security door.

"Some gang members remained outside while others went in and broke into a clothing store and stole clothes," said Inspector Maphakela.

Security guards responded to an alarm which was triggered at the store and a shootout ensued. The men managed to escape in their vehicles, despite the efforts of the security guards who shot out the vehicle's back windscreen.

"No one was injured or arrested; police are still investigating," he said.

The value of items stolen from the store was not immediately established.

This is reportedly the third robbery at the mall in recent months.

The Department of Police recently launched the National Festive Season Crime-Fighting campaign, which includes operations focusing on shopping centres.

The Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa, Deputy Minister Fikile Mbalula and National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele have warned criminals that they would be met with the harshest action from police during the period.