Cigarette robbers caught as Cape Town CBD crime plunges by 76%

07 May 2020 - 16:34 By Philani Nombembe
Police officers attend to a crime scene in Cape Town's city centre after armed robbers stole cigarettes worth tens of thousands of rands on May 7 2020.
Police officers attend to a crime scene in Cape Town's city centre after armed robbers stole cigarettes worth tens of thousands of rands on May 7 2020.
Image: Central City Improvement District

Crime in Cape Town's city centre has fallen by three-quarters since the start of the lockdown, the Central City Improvement District (CCID) said on Thursday.

This was after armed robbers were nabbed by CCID security officers and the police for stealing “cigarettes worth tens of thousands of rands” in the CBD.

CCID spokesperson Sharon Sorour-Morris said the robbers pulled off the robbery on Thursday at Friend’s Café on the corner of Long and Castle streets.

“Three men stormed into the store and held up the shopkeeper at knifepoint. The suspects stole three bags packed with cigarette cartons, two cellphones, cash and a watch,” said Sorour-Morris.

Some of the packets of cigarettes recovered from armed robbers in the Cape Town CBD on Thursday.
Some of the packets of cigarettes recovered from armed robbers in the Cape Town CBD on Thursday.
Image: Central City Improvement District

“Minutes after being alerted to the robbery, CCID public safety officers gave chase and caught two of the three suspects, while also recovering all the stolen goods. They then called the police, who arrived and cordoned off the area.”

CCID manager of safety and security Mo Hendricks said the suspects were taken to the Cape Town central police station. 

“The arrest is testimony to the successful lockdown strategy of the CCID safety and  security department, which changed its deployment of its safety officers when the nationwide lockdown was enforced with the focus on business and house break-ins, destruction of property and malicious damage to property,” he said. “Our officers were therefore close by and alert when this robbery took place and able to swiftly apprehend the suspects.”

He said crime across all categories had decreased by 76% in the city centre since the lockdown began.

“Only 35 crimes were recorded from March 27 2020 to April 15 2020, compared with 151 crime incidents during the same period last year,” he said.

“I’m very happy that our strategy is working and that crime across all categories has decreased dramatically.”


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