Shoprite offers R50k reward: Crooks dig tunnel to steal R300k in booze

Shoprite offers R50k reward: Crooks dig tunnel to steal R300k in booze

- Shoprite is offering a R50 000 reward for information leading to the arrest of some really ingenious crooks

- The thieves dug a tunnel into a Joburg liquor store branch during lockdown

-The group made off with R300 000 in whiskey, brandy, gin, ciders, vodka and beer

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Shoprite is on the hunt for a group of thieves who got pretty creative with their plan to rob one of the retail chain's liquor stores.

In a statement released by the company, it was confirmed that the crooks gained entrance to the store by digging a tunnel into it.

"A Shoprite Liquorshop in Newtown Junction, Johannesburg has been robbed in bizarre fashion by thieves who tunnelled through a solid concrete floor to gain access. The incident took place during South Africa’s hard Level 4 and 5 lockdown period, during which the sale of alcohol was strictly prohibited."

The incident was discovered by the store's manager who had returned to begin preparing for Level 3:

"The manager of the Shoprite Liquorshop in Newtown Junction discovered the theft - and a large hole in the ground - when she entered the store on Friday 29 May. She was returning to prepare for the store’s reopening under the easing Level 3 lockdown conditions on 1 June."

READ ALSO: Liquor back on sale: Retailers warn no bulk buying will be allowed

With the usual entrance to the store locked up tight, the group opted to tunnel through the concrete floor instead:

"It is unclear how the thieves knew where to tunnel, nor how long it took them to get through the thick concrete floor, but they returned a few times to steal a large amount of stock. According to Oswald Meiring, the Shoprite Group's Loss Control Manager, the suspects were first recorded on CCTV cameras on 21 May - just 10 days before liquor sales were allowed."

The group is now offering a R50 000 reward for information that will lead to a successful arrest:

"Footage from inside the store shows three suspects, although more may have remained in the tunnel to help move the large quantity of liquor stolen. Meiring says the thieves made off with whiskey, brandy, gin, cider, vodka, and beer to an estimated value of R300,000. A R50 000 reward, subject to terms and conditions, has been made available for information which leads to a successful arrest. People with information can call 0800 118 879 or email"

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