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By Liam Ngobeni

Freelance journalist

Pretoria funeral parlours targeted by armed robbers

The suspects reportedly pretended they were interested in joining the funeral service.

The SAPS Tshwane Central Cluster is concerned about the newest trend of business robberies, after a recent increase in break-ins at funeral parlours in the area, reports Pretoria East Rekord.

Captain Colette Weilbach said on Wednesday morning two unknown men entered Maeteko Group Funeral in East Lynne.

A 25-year-old woman was on duty when one of the suspects pretended he was interested in joining the funeral service.

ALSO READ: One person shot and killed, two others injured at a Soweto funeral parlour

“At that point, the suspect took out a firearm and threatened the woman and tied her up. A security officer entered the business and he was also held up at gunpoint.”

The suspects fled with cash, laptops, and cellphones.

Weilbach said at the end of last year, Kgatso Funeral Parlour in Lynne was also robbed.

“Five suspects fled in a white Toyota Quantum after they robbed cash, laptops, and cellphones at gunpoint.”

She said the TRIO task team at cluster level was investigating at least six business robberies which all occurred at funeral parlours within the seven policing precincts.

There is no breakthrough in these cases yet and no arrests have been made.

“Crime is often invited into these businesses because of failure to take good security precautions.

“The most common security lack is the absence of CCTV cameras, an alarm system, and a response company.”

She urged business owners to do regular checks on whether their alarm systems were working.

“Warning signs at entry points to the building can inform a potential thief of security systems and deter them from entering the building.

“CCTV footage is valuable in the police investigation, to ensure good quality the camera must be installed on face level.”

Thieves usually look for items of value such as laptops, iPads, cellphones, wallets, and electrical equipment they can easily sell.

“Remind staff to lock personal belongings and valuables away during the day and also before leaving the office for home. Limit the amount of cash on the premises,” said Weilbach.

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