Five men who posed as customers of expensive fragrances at a Port Alfred shopping mall and then allegedly robbed a store, were arrested just more than an hour later while driving into Port Elizabeth yesterday.
They had earlier allegedly carried out a heist of a range of goods worth tens of thousands of rands at the Red Square store in the Rosehill Mall in the town.
The men, aged between, 25 and 31, were arrested when members of the Tactical Response Team and Flying Squad pulled a grey Ford EcoSport off the road near the Truckers Inn in St George Street, Wells Estate, at about 10.30am.
Police spokesman Captain Mali Govender said two men had entered the Red Square store at about 9.13am posing as customers.
“They approached the two female assistants for help with perfumes. They then allegedly informed the assistants that they had come to rob the store.
“They were joined by two more suspects and requested that the assistants put the perfumes in the bags that they brought with them,” she said.
“They then started removing the perfumes and left the shop.
“A security officer from the mall who was on his rounds came to the door as a suspect was leaving with his bag packed with perfumes.”
Govender said a manager from a food store attempted to chase the suspects but was threatened with a firearm.
The men fled in a car that was parked in the centre car park.
“The information [of the getaway car] was circulated and all emergency services from Port Alfred and neighbouring clusters including Port Elizabeth were alerted as the vehicle travelled towards Port Elizabeth.”
Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said that by 10.30am, Port Elizabeth Flying Squad members had spotted the car passing Coega.