The robbery that took place at Mimosa Mall last Thursday can only be described as a scene coming straight out of an action movie.
Mimosa Mall general manager, Neelofar Issa, said the incident occurred in under eight minutes. “The robbers entered the store at 9:22 and were in the store for about 1 minute and 20 seconds. Two cars came in, there were eight perpetrators in total. While the drivers remained in their cars, six armed men entered the mall. Three went around the store, casually, while the other three grabbed the security guard, shoved him into the store and proceeded to rob the place. They even put their parking ticket into the machine to open the boom gate as they left,” described Issa.
She added that security guards at Mimosa Mall are not armed. This could have escalated the robbery, causing a possible shoot-out and is done to ensure that when such incidents occur, innocent bystanders do not become casualties.
Facilities and Operations Manager, Martin van Zyl, said their stance on robberies at the mall is ‘minimum aggression, minimum resistance’. “The first line of our security is to be preventative. All our security guards are set up at strategic positions to monitor body language to see if they can pick up anything suspicious. Our surveillance is also set up to be preventative. Then when we get to a point where there is action, such as an armed robbery, we will act on making the area safe. We need to get as many people out of danger as possible, give little resistance and aggression so that whoever is inside the building won’t become aggressive themselves,” said Van Zyl.
They then provide the police with all the details they have gathered, ensuring that the police have the necessary information they need to better catch the criminals.
Issa added that they are aware that as a shopping centre customers may be targets for criminals but the mall aims to at least deter robbers.
They have also taken extra safety measures at the mall. “Firstly, we are looking at obtaining a 24-hour armed response vehicle that is stationed outside the mall, so that the minute they exit, the building’s armed response can take over. Secondly, we are looking at installing PTZ cameras at the corners of our building, this will also help assist the police better as they have longer vision. Thirdly, we will also be adding another person in our control room, just to have an extra pair of eyes on our surveillance. And lastly, we will be upskilling our security guards through the service provider. As criminals are getting smarter, we also need to start thinking like them so that we can be a step ahead,” she added.
Issa ensured shoppers that with the quick response from the police and their preventative security action plan, they are working towards a safer shopping experience. – Seithati Semenokane