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Child safe with mother after ‘hijacking drama’

CRESTA – Police confirm that no case has been opened.

UPDATE: 7.30pm

Details of what happened today when a father claimed that his baby had been kidnapped and dropped at Cresta Shopping Centre remain unclear.

The father had earlier told Randburg Sun that after a domestic dispute between himself and the mother of the child, his baby had been kidnapped. A search then ensued at Cresta Shopping Centre after he claimed to have had a ‘feeling’ that the baby had been left there.

Some reports indicate that the father was taken in for questioning by police. Cresta has also stated that the entire story was fabricated by the father and that the child is home with its mother.

Cresta Marketing Manager, Elena Yiallouris said, “Through thorough investigation by the Cresta Shopping Centre’s Security and Operations teams and support from police, Cresta Shopping Centre can confirm that the hijacking and kidnapping incident that was reported this afternoon did not take place,”

“The story was, unfortunately, a fabrication by the child’s father and the child has been confirmed as safely at home with the mother.”

She also commended the centre security and local police for their actions saying, “Cresta Shopping Centre management would like to thank the local SAPS, our Security and Operations teams for the immediate action taken and assistance in resolving this matter swiftly… As safety at and around our centre if of the utmost priority to us.”

REZA (@crimeairnetwork) has also tweeted that the father was taken in for questioning after he “allegedly made up story of his child being kidnapped in an Uber”

Linden police’s spokesperson Captain Walter Spencer said, “There was no hijacking scene and the baby that was [supposedly kidnapped] in the hijacking is safe with his mother.”

UPDATE: 6.30pm

The Randburg Sun spoke to a man who allegedly had his child snatched from him at a school on 5 February.

According to the boy’s father, the matter was a domestic dispute with his ex-wife.

He said he had a ‘feeling’ that the suspects had dumped the baby at parking level ‘B1’ at Cresta. He continued to say that ‘for all we know he is safe at home, but I don’t have his mother’s number.

Cresta Shopping Centre released a statement on the incident saying:
“Cresta Shopping Centre management and their security teams have been informed of the hijacking and missing child incident which allegedly took place in the Rosebank area on the 5 February 2018. Upon alert of the incident from the local SAPS, the Cresta Shopping Centre, its security and operations teams took immediate action and have been undergoing a search for the missing child on the premises, including the Centre’s service areas,” said Cresta marketing manager, Elena Yiallouris.

“The security team has enlisted the assistance of our reaction officer to search the centre parking areas as well as the main roads around the çentre. We have also begun to thoroughly check our CCTV footage for any sign of the child or the hijacked vehicle. The local SAPS are still on site and we are working with them to assist in finding the child.”

The father was later taken to the police station, where further investigations will continue.

Reports had initially circulated on social media indicated that a baby who had been travelling in a vehicle that was hijacked in Rosebank earlier today may have been left at Cresta Shopping Centre.

According to a message online, the vehicle was a blue Toyota Corolla and was hijacked on the corner of Jellicoe and Jan Smuts avenues in Craighall Park.

The father said, he had a ‘feeling’ that the suspects had left the baby at Cresta.

UPDATE: 4.43pm

According to Sergeant Bongi Mdletshe, spokesperson for Rosebank Police Station, officers had been called to the scene of an alleged hijacking, however, when they arrived the complainant was not present.

Mdletshe added that the officers had then been informed by the control room that the complainant had left the scene to go Cresta, which is where he believed the baby had been left.

Mdletshe confirmed that Rosebank police had not received a statement from the complainant and no case had been opened.

This is a breaking news story, more information will follow as soon as it becomes available.

Are you on the scene? Do you know more? Email roxydv@caxton.co.za

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