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WATCH | Durban toddler 'abducted' at mall

23 December 2019 - 07:08 By Naledi Shange

A Durban security guard, employed at an Umhlanga mall, is due to appear in the Verulam magistrate’s court on Monday after he was allegedly caught trying to steal a child, KwaZulu-Natal police said.

The officer was alleged to have tried to kidnap the two-year-old while he was shopping with his grandmother on Thursday.

“[The] 57-year-old grandmother was with her grandson making a purchase when an unknown man picked up her grandson, who was sitting in the trolley, and walked away,” said Brig Jay Naicker.

“When the petrified grandmother found that the child was taken, she began running in the mall, frantically screaming out for him. She then spotted the man attired in a security guard's uniform walking into one of the shops with her grandson.”

The woman rushed after her grandson and yanked him out of the suspect's arms.

“She reported the incident to the mall management, who contacted police. Police officers from the Durban North police station arrived at the scene and viewed the CCTV footage at the mall,” said Naicker.

“The suspect was immediately identified as a security guard who was on duty at the mall and he was promptly arrested. A case of kidnapping was opened at Durban North police station.”

KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Lt-Gen Khombinkosi Jula warned shoppers to be extra vigilant at this time.

“We are appealing to parents and guardians to always keep an eye on their children, especially during this peak festive period. At this stage we do not know what the suspect's intentions were, but this incident once again highlights the need for us to remain vigilant at all times,” Jula said.

“We wish to applaud the grandmother for taking immediate action and informing authorities of the incident,” he said.