Two employees of The Crazy Store in the Boardwalk Inkwazi Shopping Centre in KwaZulu-Natal were held at gunpoint by a robber while they were walking towards an FNB branch in the centre to deposit the shop’s cash, Zululand Observer reports.
They were ambushed near the bank entrance just after 9am on Monday.
After grabbing the bag of money, the suspect and an accomplice were seen fleeing in a dark coloured VW Golf.
No one was hurt, and a case of armed robbery was opened.
Richards Bay police spokesperson Captain Debbie Ferreira said: “The police is working closely with the shopping centre management to track down the suspects and ensure the safety of employees and shoppers.”
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Ferreira added it was the first time a case of armed robbery such as this occurred in the mall. The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) warned businesses to take all necessary precautions to minimise chances of becoming victims of cash robberies.
“A small business, which is cash-based and needs to deposit money on a regular basis at the bank, should alternate the days and times on which cash is deposited. Never make bank visits public, even to people close to you.
“Do not openly display the money while standing in the bank queue and avoid carrying money bags, briefcases or openly displaying deposit receipt books. Identify another branch nearby to ensure that a banking pattern is not easily detected. If the amount of cash being regularly deposited is increasing as the business grows, consider using the services of a cash management company.
“Refrain from giving wages to contract or casual labourers in full view of the public. Rather make use of wage accounts that can be provided by the bank or consider arranging for electronic transfers of wages to personal bank accounts,” SABRIC said.
– Caxton News Service