Limpopo police have issued a warning to shop owners in the province to exercise vigilance following a recent incident at Tafelkop Mall. A group of armed individuals, posing as police officers and dressed in full police uniform, arrived at the mall in a white VW Polo Classic with flashing blue lights.
The suspects instructed the security officers on duty to allow them access to the premises under the pretence of conducting crime prevention duties and monitoring the control room cameras. Once inside, they proceeded to rob victims of their cell phones, two-way radios, and an official jacket.
Although the police were alerted to the robbery, the culprits had already fled the scene. However, they left behind a SAPS reflector jacket, which was found by the responding officers.
Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba, the spokesperson for Limpopo police, emphasized that there are currently high-density operations taking place across the province. These operations involve officers from various police units, including visible policing, detectives, and counterfeit and contraband task teams.
Mashaba also highlighted the fact that detectives within the SAPS work in plain clothes and do not wear name tags. To verify the identity of any suspicious individuals, shop owners have the right to request that they show their appointment cards, which all police officials are required to carry while on duty.
The integrated police units in Limpopo are currently focusing on combating counterfeit products, contraband, and expired food being sold at spaza shops and supermarkets throughout the province.
Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, the provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, has urged businesses to be cautious of bogus police officers. She stressed that these imposters are not affiliated with any law enforcement authorities and may attempt to gain access to business premises or request sensitive information.
Shop owners are advised to verify the credentials of anyone claiming to be a police officer and to report any suspicious activity to the local police station immediately. The safety and security of the public are top priorities, and the police are actively investigating these incidents in order to apprehend the criminals responsible.