Robbers targeted two Beaufort Street businesses within 200 metres of each other – Diamond Cash and Carry and Pep Cell – within 48 hours.
On Saturday 18 November Diamond Cash and Carry staff were threatened with firearms shortly after opening around 9am.
A staff member whose identity we’re not disclosing said first one man entered the shop, pointed to a box of cigarettes and asked their price.
“The second guy asked how much the plastic rolls cost. He asked for a discount and I agreed on one,” the staff member said. “One man said to the other, ‘Take out the money.’”
Instead of money, he took out a gun and pointed it first at the shop’s owner, Babar Hayat, then at the staff member.
They took cash, phones and airtime before forcing all the staff into the back of the shop and making their getaway in a car parked outside.
“When we heard a customer calling, we knew it must be safe to come out,” the staff member said. The robbers had left the front door of the shop ajar.
“This is the first time every that something like this has happened at this shop,” the staff member said. “They were dressed nicely you know. You can’t even think they are tsotsis.”
“We are fine,” Hayat said, days after the terrifying incident. “We are okay. We will continue to make this work.”
Police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender confirmed the incident and said four suspects had entered the shop, while one kept watch outside.
Govender said another case of business robbery was being investigated following a second incident around 9.30am on Monday 20 November at the Pep Cell shop, 200m down the road in Beaufort Street.
Three men had entered the shop, Govender said.
“One suspect took out a firearm and threatened the manager and staff in the shop.”
The men went to the office at the back of the shop but were unsuccessful because the cash was in a drop safe.
“They managed to take an undisclosed amount of cash out of the tills inside the shop and a cellphone and fled the scene,” Govender said.
No arrests had been made.