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Teen robbed at knifepoint

A local 17-year-old teenager was robbed at knifepoint on Saturday 27 October at the Whale Coast Mall in Sandbaai.

The incident occurred at 18:30 as the teenager was waiting for a friend, who was to accompany him to the cinema, according to his father, Giorgio Lombardi.

He said his son had been waiting at the side of the mall below the stairwell, when two unknown men approached him.

“There were actually four guys, but two of them held him at knifepoint and stole his cellphone as well as R350 in cash,” Lombardi related. “The other two assailants were acting as sentries while the crime was being committed.

“I went to view the CCTV footage at the mall, and from what transpired it was definitely a hit on my son. These guys were watching him.”

Lombardi added it was a stupid place for his son to be, and urged people to wait for family, friends or others inside the mall.

He said the Whale Coast Mall security officer came to his son’s aid in seconds, and he was joined by another security guard almost directly afterwards. “I had a very positive meeting with the management of the mall and I would like to see which steps are going to be implemented to ensure customer safety,” Lombardi said. “I kept my child at home on Monday, as he was still in shock and traumatised by what had happened.” He felt it was a stroke of good luck that his son sustained no bodily harm.

Andrea van Rensburg, Marketing Manager of the Whale Coast Mall, said mall management took the matter very seriously. “We are giving it our urgent attention, as the safety of our shoppers remains a top priority,” she said. “We met with Giorgio Lombardi and invited the press to view the CCTV camera footage for a transparent and actual account of what occurred, and appreciate the real time response of our security team.”

Van Rensburg said the mall will work closely with local authorities and cooperate fully with those investigating the matter. “As always, we urge shoppers to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious behaviour to our security or Centre Management immediately,” she said.

Captain Fadila September, spokesperson for Hermanus police, confirmed a case of robbery with a weapon had been opened on Tuesday 30 October. September reported the suspects had searched the boy’s pockets and took his Samsung cellphone and his cash. “One of the suspects threatened to kill the boy,” she said.

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