SAPS is cautioning consumers to beware of criminals posing as security officials at the entrance to large stores. The police urged shoppers not to leave their personal belongings with strangers.
Two cases of theft have been opened in Port Alfred, and similar cases have been opened in Grahamstown for investigation after unsuspecting consumers were told by bogus security officers that they were not allowed to take their bags into the store.
The female victims, both in their mid to late 30s, left their bags containing their valuable belongings and entered the store. After they finished their shopping they went to the door to fetch their handbags which contained their wallets with cash, only to find out that the “security officers” were no longer at the entrance and all their valuables gone.
The suspects in these two cases were women, one dressed in a T-shirt and black pants, and another in a navy dress. The style of dress also gave the unsuspecting victims the impression that these were indeed security officials.
They were not. Both suspects appear to be of foreign African origin and with a great command of the Xhosa language.
No security official will request that you leave your personal belongings with them outside a store, SAPS advised. Security officials will in some cases request to check your belongings, but will not ask that your cellphones, wallets and handbags be left with them outside a store.
Should you have parcels, these may be left at a parcel counter at the store and you will be given a token of acknowledgement.
Should you encounter any such individual, request for the store manager and the store security, and if you are required to leave your parcels other than your personal belongings, request for an acknowledgement of receipt or a token of receipt from the store.