MEMBERS of Constantia Watch SRT and K9 unit and police managed to arrest seven suspected shoplifters involved in an apparent theft syndicate.
Police have confirmed five of the arrests after two others were not formally charged.
The drama unfolded at the Constantia Village Shopping Centre on Thursday last week, just after 2pm.
Constantia Watch took to their Facebook page to showcase their successful arrest after they were alerted to one of the suspects entering the premises.
The team surveyed and observed the situation before taking action.
They watched as the group placed several shopping bags in vehicles.
According to the Constantia Watch statement, they also found mandrax tablets in the group’s possession and intercepted them by stopping the suspects’ vehicle. They had already alerted the police.
Inside the boot they found items from linen to underwear with the shopping tags still attached. Staff at stores confirmed that the items had been stolen.
They believe the group were no strangers to such crimes and might be linked to others.
They said: “SAPS was alerted and our dedicated SAPS Diep River sector managers waited outside the mall.
“After a period, the suspects were seen returning to the vehicle with several bags.
“As the vehicle left the mall, they picked up another two suspects with bags.
“Once they had left the mall, the SAPS, assisted by both CW SRT (Constantia Watch) vehicles, pulled the vehicle over.
“A search revealed a boot filled with linen, duvet covers and underwear still with shop tags on them.
“The controllers traced the tags to the shop, contacted the management and via the bar codes confirmed that the goods had been stolen.
“As the search of the vehicle continued by SAPS, they found several Mandrax tablets.
“All 7 occupants, 5 females and 2 males were arrested.
“They will be transported back to SAPS Diep River, a case will be opened, and all seven will be detained for shoplifting, theft and possession of narcotics.
“They will appear in Wynberg Court at first availability. We have no doubt that they will be linked to several other cases.
“Excellent team work between Constantia Watch SRT, SAPS Diep River, CVIC controllers and Constantia Village Security.”
Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi confirmed the arrest of the five, which had initially been seven, due to two others not being formally charged and held.
He said the group used the modus operandi of distracting staff and then filling their trolleys with merchandise.
“Five unknown males entered a shop in the mentioned complex on Thursday at around 2pm, distracting the personnel.
“The suspects filled the trolleys with necessities and left the store, loading the goods in their vehicle.
“The vehicle was stopped and suspects arrested and detained on a charge of possession of presumed stolen property.”