Newtown – Burglars recently stole alcohol products from a Shoprite liquor shop at the Newtown Junction in bizarre fashion, when they tunnelled through a solid concrete floor to gain access.
Shoprite Group’s Loss Control manager Oswald Meiring said the suspects were first recorded on CCTV cameras on May 21, 10 days before liquor sales were allowed.
Footage from inside the store shows three suspects, although more may have remained in the tunnel to help move the large quantity of liquor stolen.
“They made off with whisky, brandy, gin, cider, vodka, and beer with an estimated value of R300 000,” Meiring said.
The robbery took place while the shop was closed due to the Covid-19 lockdown, while the sale of alcohol was prohibited.
The shop’s manager discovered the theft, and a large hole in the ground, when she entered the store on Friday. She was returning to prepare for the store’s reopening on Monday under the easing of lockdown regulations to Level 3.
The thieves avoided the mall’s main entrance and used electrical and storm-water tunnels beneath the shopping centre to gain access to the area beneath the store. They then tunnelled through the solid concrete floor directly into the liquor shop to gain access undetected, Shoprite said.
It was unclear how the thieves knew where to tunnel and how long it took them to get through the thick concrete floor, but they returned a few times to steal a large amount of stock.
A R50 000 reward, subject to terms and conditions, has been made available for information which leads to the arrest of the suspects.
People with information can call 0800 118 879 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.