“They were pointing a gun at us while they were running away, but we chased them, shouting ‘tsotsis’, until we caught them,” the brave car guards told the Kormorant this week.
The woman returned to her car at about 2.15pm when she was overpowered by two armed men. They pulled her from the driver seat and tried to push her into the back. She screamed and the robbers hit her in the face. Car guards, who were already suspicious of the two loitering men, came rushing to her aid.
When the robbers, who had already grabbed the woman’s handbag and cellphone, saw the car guards coming for them, they took off.
While calling for backup, the guards went after the robbers without thinking twice.
“They ran when they saw us coming but we came from all sides.”
Seven car guards and two security guards chased the fleeing robbers and managed to catch one in the parking area. The other fled into the bushes opposite Village Mall and the guards followed, nabbing him as well.
The second robber had thrown his firearm into the bush before he was caught and a search was launched to find the weapon. A 9 mm pistol was later recovered from the bushes.
“From the mall’s security footage, it was evident that the two robbers arrived with a third suspect in a white BMW. The driver went into the mall for a while while the two robbers loitered in the parking lot, walking up and down. The driver left in the BMW and it was then that the two suspects tried to hijack the woman,” said Romano van der Spuy, chairman of the Hartbeespoort community policing forum (CPF).
“The woman sustained facial injuries but was otherwise unharmed.”
The CPF and Village Mall management expressed their gratitude to the vigilant car guards who risked their own lives to save the woman and catch the robbers.
“The car guards have received much praise on Facebook, but I want to request community members to show their appreciation by donations that can be used to the benefit of these alert men who look after our belongings and who have now repeatedly thwarted thieves, car thieves and hijackers,” Van der Spuy said.
Village Mall manager Heleen Erasmus said the mall management had been looking for sponsors for good shoes and jackets for the guards to brace the coming winter. The mall would also administrate all donations from community members.
“We have a wonderful group of car and security guards here and people who want to contribute are welcome to contact me,” Heleen said.