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Innovative ‘Man Trap’ Could Halt Robbery Activities For SA’s Electronic Retailers

News » Technology/Innovation

IMAGE: Lily Zondo, MTN’s general manager of business risk, »


The chief executive of Africa’s largest producer of physical access control products has suggested the current wave of robberies targeting electronics and telecommunications stores around South Africa could be curtailed by the use of “man traps”, such as those found at the entrances to banks.

Since the beginning of the year armed gangs have carried out a number of orchestrated robberies on mobile device retail outlets, particularly in Gauteng and the Western Cape.

Early in September, a Telkom store at Kolonade Mall in Montana, Pretoria, became the latest target, as four armed robbers made off with more than R200,000 worth of electronic goods.

Kolonade was the sixth mall in Gauteng to be hit by robbers in only two months, with the iStore at Centurion Mall losing an estimated R1-million in goods on August 22.

A number of MTN stores around Cape Town have also been targeted, including branches in Durbanville, Rondebosch, Somerset West, Steenberg, Paarl, Kuils River, Kraaifontein and Observatory.

Recently Lily Zondo, MTN’s general manager of business risk, announced that the network would be redesigning its store layouts and making CCTV upgrades in order to combat the scourge.

It is estimated that there are now more cellphones in use in South Africa than there are people in the country, and some might find it surprising that syndicates have taken this long to orchestrate robberies on mobile device outlets on such a scale.

In response to the electronics robbery scourge, Craig Sacks, chief executive of Cape Town and Johannesburg-based access control solutions company Turnstar, has mooted that the “man trap” or could provide a useful deterrent.

“The man-trap or security booth cubicle is already used at entrances to jewelry stores in shopping centres,” Sacks said.

“The fact is that today mobile devices like smartphones and iPads are very hot items. Jewelry stores obviously had to adapt to counter robberies, so it would be advisable that electronics stores do the same.

“The man-trap can be installed in the shopfront of the store and allows entry one person at a time, thereby providing a high level of security and preventing a quick getaway. This of course is also a psychological deterrent.”

Statistics from the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa suggests that there have been around 530 mall robberies in South Africa since the start of the year. About a third of those (180-odd) were robberies related to the theft of cellphones. The remaining 66% of robberies included other electronics, clothes, jewellery, and other goods.

Article Credit: Ventures-africa

Updated 4 Years ago

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Tags:     Africa     Western Cape     Kolonade Mall in Montana     Pretoria     Lily Zondo     CCTV     Craig Sacks