20 May 2020

Criminals Disregard Curfew: Durban Businesses Bear the Brunt

The business break-ins trendline continues on in our most recent reports, in which onsite guarding staff at Durban business premises were targeted in two separate incidents in the early hours of the morning this week.

“It is concerning that the suspects in both instances were armed,” said Blue Security community and media liaison officer, Andreas Mathios. “On Tuesday morning at about 5.15am a security guard was held up by a gang of five men at the entrance of the premises which he was guarding on the Berea. Two of the men were wielding firearms,” Mathios said.

“On arrival at the scene the Blue Security reaction officer was informed by the guard that the suspects had entered the premises after holding him up at the main entrance,” Mathios said. “The suspects then made their way to a liquor store situated on the property, forced open the front door and proceeded to remove an undisclosed amount of alcohol before making their getaway,” Mathios said. Berea SAPS attended the scene to undertake a thorough investigation of the crime scene.

In a separate incident which occurred on Monday in the Mahogany Ridge area of Pinetown two armed suspects tied up a security guard before robbing him and removing items from the property. “The two men had apparently gained entry to the premises by cutting the wire fence at the rear of the property in two places. The incident occurred under cover of darkness at around 4.30am,” he said.

“One of the suspects had confronted the guard onsite and pointed a firearm at him before tying him up with rope. He and his accomplice then stole the guard’s cellphone and a kettle,” Mathios said. “The guard was able to untie himself after the suspects left the kitchen and activate the panic button linked to Blue Security’s control centre. The suspects then fled,” he said.

“There were no signs of other damage apart from the fence being broken. Nothing else was stolen and the guard was fortunate to escape serious injury,” Mathios said. Pinetown SAPS attended the scene, a case has been opened and investigations are continuing.

“These two incidents highlight the facts that most criminals prefer to operate under cover of darkness, totally disregard the Coronavirus lockdown curfew and, most concerning, are bearing firearms when committing crimes,” Mathios said. “Businesses need to ensure that boundaries are monitored and properly secured and kept well-lit in an effort to deter criminals,” he said.

“Provide easily-accessible panic devices for staff members which are linked to security provider control centres and can be quickly activated in an emergency. Request regular patrols by security providers or the local SAPS, especially in quiet or remote locations. Train guarding staff to be aware of potentially criminal activity and to summon help at the first sign of any untoward incidents,” Mathios said.

“One must not be complacent during corona lockdown. Quieter areas with little traffic are a boon for potential criminals and businesses need to be extra vigilant,” he said.

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