Business robbery up 14% in SA

Business robbery increased 13.7% in the 2013/2014 financial year, national police commissioner Riah Phiyega said on Friday.

Bank robberies increased by 200%, the commissioner said.

“Bank robbery went from 7 to 21, with Gauteng contributing to most of them,” she said at the release of the crime statistics in Pretoria.

Gauteng had 11 bank robberies, the Eastern Cape five, KwaZulu-Natal two and the Free State three.

Retail robberies increased by almost a third in a year, the Consumer Goods Council of SA (CGCSA) said.

“The continued targeting of the retail sector by organised crime syndicates is of considerable concern to the industry,” head of the CGCSA’s consumer goods crime risk initiative Graham Wright said in a statement.

The organisation found that retail robberies grew 30 percent over the period April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014, compared with the previous financial year.

Financial losses through these robberies grew 32%.

These trends continued into this year, with retail robberies now reaching their highest recorded level.

Wright said: “We are, however, heartened by the 14% drop in jewellery robberies reported to CGCSA, as well as the reduction of 50 percent in losses experienced by this industry.”

Burglaries in the retail industry dropped six percent, with losses from this type of crime having dropped 45%.

It follows a spate of mall robberies in recent months in mobile phone shops in Gauteng,

A cellphone shop was robbed at Benmore shopping centre in Sandton, north of Johannesburg, Gauteng police said on Thursday.

Last week, Gauteng police commissioner Lt-Gen Lesetja Mothiba said the province’s malls had been robbed 11 times since August 13.

On September 9, a robbery took place at an Altech Autopage cellphone store at the Glen shopping centre in Ormonde. Three armed robbers stole 15 cellphones worth R34,000.

The Samsung, iStore, and Vodacom shops in the same mall had all been robbed since November last year.

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Business robbery up 14% in SA