A Canal Walk shopper has slammed the centre for shoddy security after she had her bag stolen while trying on shoes last weekend.
Cat Jooste of Bellville said she was sitting on a chair with her handbag on the floor when two women came into the shop and started trying on shoes next to her.
One of them sat on a chair next to me and complimented me on the shoes I was wearing.”
Jooste said she suspects the woman distracted her while “her partner cordially removed” the bag.
When she realised what had happened, she alerted staff, who pressed a panic button.
She said the security officers took 10 minutes to arrive and battled to understand what she was saying.
Jooste wanted to look at the CCTV tapes to identify her robbers, but the security guards told her that customers were not allowed to view the tapes.
“I have to apply for new bank cards and an ID document. It’s going to cost me about R16 000 to replace everything I lost that day.”
Canal Walk spokeswoman Vanessa Herbst said the CCTV footage from Sunday had been handed over to the police for further investigation.
“Unfortunately we cannot release footage to customers,” she said.
Extensive security measures are in place in the centre, including CCTV, in strategic areas, patrols by uniformed guards, bicycle guards, armed response vehicles and under-cover plainclothes guards,” added Herbst.
Nine months ago a Cape Argus photographer, who doesn’t wish to be named, said he saved his camera bag from being stolen in Canal Walk by a team.
He said while he was on his way to the parking ticket pay station, a woman tapped him on the shoulder and pointed to his backpack, “which was now full of white cream”.
She then offered him a tissue to wipe it off.
After he was done cleaning cleaning his bag, he noticed the woman talking on her cellphone and hurrying back to the shops.
“I then realised my bag was gone. I ran after her and didn’t let her go until a security guard came.” He got his bag back.
He said he then watched the CCTV tapes with the security guards.
On the tape they saw the woman and two men walking back to the mall. The woman then casually took off her jacket and ponytail, and turned her green handbag inside out, to brown.
Jooste warned mall patrons to ignore strangers who make comments about their clothing.
“They are just drawing your attention while their friends relieve you of your valuables.”