Newcastle Mall confirms one injury following robbery and is satisfied with security

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

With South Africa’s crime rate constantly escalating, yet another armed robbery at Newcastle Mall, just months after the last, has seen numerous comments from concerned Newcastillians come in.

Just to recap the latest incident; on Tuesday afternoon, 24 May 2022, armed men stormed inside a store, robbing the business of cash and cellphones, before making their daring escape.

To read the initial article, click here.

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Following the incident, Newcastle SAPS spokesperson, Lizzy Arumugam stated that no suspects had been apprehended as of yet. But explained that Newcastle Detectives are investigating a case of business robbery.

Providing an update on the ordeal, Arumugam pointed out that the robbery took place in Hollywood Bollywood. “The complainant alleged that he was at his shop, when four armed males came into the shop and jumped the counter.”

She further stated that the suspects told the store’s staff that it was a robbery, and everyone must lie on the floor. “They had big bags with them; they took all the cellphones and laptops,” with the stolen stock valued at R1 500 000.

Reflecting on the robbery, the owner of the store, Abdul Peerbhay explained that eight suspects stormed the store, forcing him and his employees to lay on the ground before they stole a wide selection of cellphones, laptops, and cash. “They took exclusive high-end phones, not the cheaper ones. They also stole my two personal phones.”

Peerbhay further explained that while the robbery was taking place, one of his employees had managed to send a message to Newcastle Crime Fighter Task Team’s Imran Ghafoor, who jumped into action by sending help.

Newcastle Mall’s Marketing Manager, Beulah Rajkumar stated that Mall Security was in place, and within seconds called for backup as the criminals were armed. “The Mall’s armed response and the SAPS were also immediately notified, and were on scene in a matter of minutes. A store staff member has sustained a minor injury, and has received medical treatment.”

However, Peerbhay denied that the Mall’s security was in place, nor did they play an active role in assisting him and his staff during the robbery.

“A staff member from a neighbouring store called the Mall’s security for help when she saw what was happening, but the security guard ran away when he saw the robbery taking place.”

Footage that has been shared with the Newcastillian – Online News shows the security guard by-passing the store when he saw the robbery in progress.

Peerbhay further noted that fortunately, Pick n Pay staff pushed their panic button, playing a key role in law enforcement attending to the crime.

While the suspects managed to flee the scene, Rajkumar added that footage of the vehicles in question, and the culprits, were shared with the SAPS. While police investigations are currently underway, this is unfortunately not the first time that unabashed criminals have targeted the local mall.

In November 2021, armed suspects daringly robbed Incredible Connection of R300 000 worth of stock, also in broad daylight.

To read the full article, click here.

This was followed by another bold robbery in February 2022, after a group of men targeted Edgars. The highly organised perpetrators strategically placed their team members outside the shopping facility and main entrance. They then proceeded to hit out the front doors of Edgars, before gaining access to the shop, and filling up various bags with goods, before escaping.

To read the full article, click here.

Following this, the Newcastillian – Online News reported on public safety and security issues at the Newcastle Mall. These issues included scam artists targeting shoppers on the Mall’s premises, and an increase of motor vehicle thefts from the complex’s parking lot.

At the time of the article, the Newcastle Mall’s management said that shopper security is of the utmost importance to them. According to the Mall, they tracked the incidents of criminal activity through close engagement with the Mall security company, Bidvest Security, the SAPS, community forums, and the local traffic department.

The mall then added that it was an ongoing priority to reduce the frequency of these types of incidents and that the Newcastle Mall Centre Management was constantly thinking about ways to improve security.

In fact, it was said, “We are committed to continuing to implement measures within our control to improve the shopper’s experience at Newcastle Mall, including safety and security, and future upgrades in this regard have been planned for this financial year.”

To read the full article, click here.

With the recent armed robbery and previous statements from the Newcastle Mall in mind, the Newcastillian – Online News approached the Centre Management to determine how the mall has enhanced its security after the last robbery, and what improvements will the facility now implement?

The Mall was further asked if it would be looking at placing security guards at the boom gates, as well as looking at employing armed security guards?

In response, Rajkumar said, “We are satisfied that the security and technology related to the safety of our customers is comprehensively provided for, and that such incident is a regrettable example of the current security situation in South Africa, which we in most instances can only respond to, and not always control.”

She added that security at the Mall continues to remain vigilant. However, Rajkumar highlighted that should anyone notice any suspicious behaviour, or wish to report the same on the Mall’s site, they are encouraged to contact the Newcastle Mall’s 24-hour control room on 034 326 1120 for immediate response.

However, Peerbhay is not satisfied with the Mall’s response in the least. “If the centre management saw the robbery taking place on their CCTV footage and the security guard run away, they should have closed the gates and I would not have lost my stock.”

Furthermore, he stated that Beulah Rajkumar came to his store only two hours after the robbery, while the Centre Manager only came to see him on Wednesday, 25 May 2022, a full day after the event. He said no assistance was offered by either of the two.

In fact, he claimed that they did not even offer to help the injured person. “Pick n Pay staff had to come with the first aid kit to help the injured person.”  

Stating that he and his staff are still traumatised by the crime, Peerbhay said a drastic change was needed in the Mall’s security, especially the guards who were not armed, nor equipped to deal with armed robberies.

What are your thoughts on the above-mentioned? Share your views in the comment section below.

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4 thoughts on “Newcastle Mall confirms one injury following robbery and is satisfied with security

  1. That’s a patronizing response to the security issue. This publication needs to approach the owners directly with regards to the safety and security of the mall. Our citizens lives are in danger here and mall managers seem content? Are they waiting for multiple deaths before they actually be proactive instead of reactive?? Highly not acceptable…

  2. On many occasions, the boom gates do not operate making a quick getaway easier. The boom gates should always be operational. These only seem to operate after criminal activity at the mall, only to be relaxed soon afterwards.

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