- At the Village Mall on Saturday there was an attempted armed hijacking
- Thanks to brave car and security guards, the criminals were caught
- The victim and the community are extremely thankful for these men's heroic act
On Saturday, Village Mall was a scene of an attempted hijacking on a woman visiting the mall. Thanks to the courageous car and security guards who gave chase and managed to catch the armed robbers, no one was seriously injured.
“They were pointing a gun at us while they were running away, but we chased them, shouting ‘tsotsis’, until we caught them,” the brave car guards told the Kormorant this week.
The incident happened at approximately 14h15 when the woman returned to her car and was overpowered by two armed men. Attemping to pull her from the driver seat and push her into the back of the car, the woman started to scream and the robbers hit her in the face. The two loitering men had caused the car guards to be suspicious of them earlier on. When the woman’s screams was heard by the guards, they ran to her assistance. The assailants had already managed to grab the woman’s handbag and cellphone. When they saw the guards running to assist the victim, they fled.
Without giving it a second though, the guards, while calling for backup and gave chase. “They ran when they saw us coming but we came from all sides.” The fleeing thieves were caught after seven car guards and two security guards gave chase. The first one was caught in the parking area. Following the second robber into the bushes opposite the mall, he too was apprehended by the guards.
A search was conducted to find the missing firearm that the second robber threw into the bushes before been caught. A 9 mm pistol was later recovered.
“From the mall’s security footage, it was evident that the two robbers arrived with a third suspect in a white BMW. The driver went into the mall for a while while the two robbers loitered in the parking lot, walking up and down. The driver left in the BMW and it was then that the two suspects tried to hijack the woman,” said Romano van der Spuy, chairman of the Hartbeespoort community policing forum.
“The woman sustained facial injuries but was otherwise unharmed.”
The CPF and Village Mall management expressed their gratitude to the vigilant car guards who risked their own lives to save the woman. It was their unselfish bravery that ended up having both suspects caught.
“The car guards have received much praise on Facebook but I want to request community members to show their appreciation by donations that can be used to the benefit of these alert men who look after our belongings and who have now repeatedly thwarted thieves, car thieves and hijackers,” Van der Spuy said.
As winter is now approaching, Heleen Erasmus, the Village Mall Manager, said the mall management has been seeking sponsors for good shoes and jackets to keep the guards warm. All donations from the community members will be administrated.
“We have a wonderful group of car and security guards here and people who want to contribute are welcome to contact me,” Heleen said.
Bravery like this should be awarded, so next time you at the mall, give thanks to the car guard looking after, not only your car, but also your safety.
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