'Hi-tech shoplifters' nabbed thanks to licence-plate cameras

18 September 2018 - 15:53 By Dave Chambers
It was also found that one of the two suspects was wanted on an outstanding warrant of arrest in Johannesburg.
It was also found that one of the two suspects was wanted on an outstanding warrant of arrest in Johannesburg.
Image: Istock

Two women carrying devices to thwart metal detectors in store entrances have been arrested after a months-long shoplifting spree at Cape Town malls.

Police said the women‚ aged 37 and 46‚ were nabbed on Monday at a mall in Plumstead with the help of licence-plate recognition cameras and neighbourhood watch patrollers.

The alarm was triggered when the women’s dark grey car was seen in the area‚ and they were arrested as they left the mall‚ where the anchor tenant is a Pick n Pay.

“The suspects were found with home-made devices to deflect metal detectors at the exit points of the store as well as various food consumables that could not be accounted for by means of proof of purchase‚” said Constable Zak Marais‚ of Diep River police station.

Police searched the women’s car and found food and clothing stolen from nearby shopping centres.

“Video footage from the respective nearby stores showed several of the items having been allegedly stolen by the same suspects. The management of these stores were traced and notified immediately and case dockets were registered‚” said Marais.

It was also found that one of the two suspects was wanted on an outstanding warrant of arrest in Johannesburg.

Marais said the women‚ who had struck at malls in the northern and southern suburbs of Cape Town‚ posed as shoppers. One pushed a trolley and kept a lookout for cameras and guards‚ while the other stole from the shelves and other shoppers.

The women will appear in Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on charges of theft and possession of stolen goods.

X