A driveway robbery occurred in Sunninghill at 13h50 on Sunday. A female resident and her elderly mother who had expensive rings went to Sunninghill Village shopping centre at around 12h30. They parked near Vet to Pet, the resident got out the car and went into Woolworths while her mother stayed in the car. When they left the centre they were followed by a white double cab vehicle with a bull bar on the front of the car. As they reached their home this vehicle blocked them on the driveway and three armed males robbed them of jewellery, cell phones and cash and then fled. The victim’s husband heard shouting and pressed his suncomm panic button but they had already left. The victim memorised the number plate of the vehicle. At this stage i cannot divulge it except the numbers were 000. This number plate was later confirmed by viewing the Sunninghill Community cameras on the cnr of Maxwell and Witkoppen roads.
We checked the shopping centre footage and discussed with the Head of Detectives at Sandton and this is what seems to have transpired.
- The victim drives in and parks
- After the victim has parked, the double cab drives into the centre (at this stage the victim was not being followed)
- The double cab drives past, fairly close to where the victim had parked and then drives straight out of the centre.
- The resident comes back from Woolworths, gets into her car and drives out, after which the double cab ends up behind her and follows her
It is the belief of the police that many shopping centres have spotters in them. They arrive independently of the criminals in the vehicles. They could be at a coffee shop having coffee; they could be walking around or window shopping. They observe vehicles arriving and watch the occupants, some days they find a victim, some days they dont. In this case we believe the spotter walked past the victim’s car and saw her Mom sitting in the car and noticed her jewellery. This individual then phoned his accomplices and they drove into the centre to identify the vehicle they needed to follow and then left, falling in behind them when they drove out.
This is a new M/O and is being used frequently – as shopping centre guards have been trained to look for vehicles with a number of occupants and some centres have cameras which could identify them.
All footage has been handed over to Sandton Saps. Our cameras did pick up some markings on this vehicle which will hopefully help the police to identify the vehicle. Please take care out there. As sad and sick as it is, do not wear expensive jewellery (in these cases they love to target women) and don’t draw lots of money from the bank. Check your review mirrors regularly to see if you are perhaps being followed.
To the victims, we are so sorry that this traumatic incident happened to you and on Mothers day as well.