Two incidents of shoplifting at stores in Welkom have resulted in arrests this month, reports Robin Goveia, Branch Manager Fidelity ADT. In the first incident, Reaction Officer George Ngubeni responded to a silent panic alarm signal received from a retail customer on Power Road, Welkom. On his arrival, Officer Ngubeni spotted a man leaving the shop with several items not in a bag. “He chased the suspect who tried to run, quickly apprehending him. The man was handed over to the Welkom SAPS for further questioning,” says Goveia.
In the second incident Officer Ngubeni was again on patrol when he received word that a panic alarm had been activated this time at a retailer on Muizen Street, Welkom. “On his arrival, he spoke to the cashier who informed him that a man inside the store was suspected of being a regular shoplifter at the store. Officer Ngubeni and the cashier confronted the suspect who was found with a number of stolen items in his possession. The suspect was handed over to the Welkom SAPS where a case of theft has been opened,” he says.
Goveia says with the festive season approaching and retail purchasing sure to increase in the coming weeks, business owners need to brief their staff and be extra vigilant.
“At this time of year we do see an increase in incidents at residents and businesses. This is why it is very important that businesses, as far as possible, ensure that there is some form of controlled access. A locked security gate can provide you with a vital few minutes to evaluate a situation before the suspects are actually in the premises. If you feel something is not right, don’t open the gate,” he says.
He adds that business owners must regularly brief their staff on security and ensure that everyone is making a conscious effort to keep their workplace safe. “Staff should carry panic buttons at all times and not hesitate to use them if they see something or someone suspicious.”