“Give us the watch.”
With two handguns pointed at his face‚ those were the words that sent a chill down the spine of a 50-year-old Johannesburg resident who was robbed in broad daylight while driving his Porsche into a shopping mall.
The man‚ who asked that his identity be protected due to safety concerns‚ told TimesLIVE how he was boxed in by a VW Polo as he waited to enter the parking lot at Thrupps Illovo Centre.
He shared details of the ordeal‚ and CCTV footage‚ to warn others about the modus operandi being used by criminals outside shopping centres.
TimesLIVE shared footage on Monday of a different Porsche driver being confronted by armed robbers in a VW Polo at the parking entrance to Hyde Park Corner in Johannesburg. That victim managed to drive away.
The latest victim is convinced the same gang was involved in both incidents. He was robbed on May 5 at Thrupps Illovo Centre.
“It was during the day. While I was waiting for the car in front of me to draw the parking ticket … I lowered my window. Before I could even move I had two guys next to my window with their guns pointing in my face‚ shouting at me. I was surprised‚” said the man from Morningside.
“I didn’t know what they wanted. I actually had to ask them what they wanted‚” he said. “They looked surprised by my question and they said‚ ‘Give us the watch’. I gave them the watch.” He declined to elaborate on what his TAG Heuer watch was worth but said it was an expensive timepiece.
“They didn’t ask for my phone or wallet‚ just the watch.”
He was unable to reverse or drive forward.
“When I saw the previous (robbery footage on TimesLIVE) I didn’t know whether it was a coincidence or whether they are specifically picking a Porsche. It is the same car‚ same three guys. The guy who took the watch is a short skinny one. I bet it is same people from the Hyde Park mall incident. With the other guy they didn’t get the timing right‚” he suggested.
He reported the robbery to the centre’s management. “It is 20 seconds. I went straight to the security guard who didn’t see anything. We then went to the centre management. The police came and I reported the incident. I was very shaky afterwards. I will change my behaviour when going to malls. You hear about this but it is always a big difference when you are impacted directly by it.” – Petru Saal / TimesLIVE