National 20.3.2017 03:24 pm

Spar robbers help themselves to bread, milk and cigarettes

THE scene outside Edleen Spar on Friday night. Photograph: Anton van der Merwe

THE scene outside Edleen Spar on Friday night. Photograph: Anton van der Merwe

Three of them grabbed one of the female staff members and walked with her towards the store’s offices.

Police are investigating a business robbery and attempted murder after a man was shot in the shoulder outside Edleen Spar after an armed robbery at the store.

According to Norkem police station commander Colonel Tobie Strauss, the man was shot by robbers who tried to hijack his friend’s car in the parking area at about 8pm on Friday, Kempton Express reported .

This happened just after a robbery took place at the Spar, while the thieves were fleeing the scene.

A few minutes before that, five armed men had entered the store and held cashiers and customers at gunpoint, demanding cash. They cleared out the cash tills.

Three of them grabbed one of the female staff members and walked with her towards the store’s offices.

“In the meantime, I had already heard a commotion coming from the front of the store and was on my way to see what was going on,” said owner of the Spar Manlio Molino.

Molino met the men and his employee in the passageway. “One was walking ahead and had a gun with him. The other two held the staff member. They forced me back inside, where I was with the manageress and her daughter.”

One pointed a gun in his face and demanded money while swearing at him.

“I asked him what money he was talking about and he replied the money in the safe. Clearly they knew about the safe.”

Molino asked him to calm down and that he would help him with what he wanted. He went to the safe, opened it and looked away.

“I tried to remain as calm as I could and avoid confrontation, because I have seen many videos and read stories about how people who are confrontational get hurt and, even worse, killed.”

By that time, the three women were facing the walls. The robbers took the money and left the office.

In the meantime, their accomplices in the front of the shop also stole customers’ cellphones and helped themselves to cigarettes, bread and milk, Molino told EXPRESS.

“The whole incident did not take more than about seven to eight minutes.”

The robbers fled the scene in three cars, including a silver Polo with false registration plates (DS42DNGP).

The amount of money stolen had not yet been confirmed, but some of the cash was recovered in the parking area during a search. Some keys were also found.

Trauma counselling was arranged for Molino and his staff members.

The injured man was taken to Tembisa Hospital but discharged the same night.

According to Molino, the wounded man came to the shop the next morning and was doing okay.

No arrests have been made yet.

– Caxton News Service

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