Image via Adobestock
The child was recovered by his grandmother who then alerted mall security, the man was identified and later arrested.
Image via Adobestock
Parents have been warned to be extra vigilant after a Durban child was snatched by a security guard allegedly employed at Umhlanga Mall.
The two-year-old child was in a shopping cart accompanied by his grandmother. CCTV footage shows how the incident unfolded. The grandmother is distracted at a counter in the Umhlanga Crescent Pick n Pay store.
The man, identified as a security guard working at the mall, approaches and removes the child from the shopping trolley and walks out of the store, moments later the 57-year-old grandmother realises the child is gone and becomes visibly distressed.
The video shows how quickly such an incident can take place and should act as a warning.
“A Durban security guard, employed at an Umhlanga mall, is due to appear in the Verulam magistrate’s court on Monday after he was allegedly caught trying to steal a child,” KwaZulu-Natal police said in a statement issued on Sunday 23 December.
“[The] 57-year-old grandmother was with her grandson making a purchase when an unknown man picked up her grandson, who was sitting in the trolley, and walked away,” said Brigadier Jay Naicker.
“When the petrified grandmother found that the child was taken, she began running in the mall, frantically screaming out for him. She then spotted the man attired in a security guard’s uniform walking into one of the shops with her grandson.”
Police say that the grandmother spotted the man entering another store at the Crescent and chased after him, catching up to him and yanking the child from his arms.
“She reported the incident to the mall management, who contacted police. Police officers from the Durban North police station arrived at the scene and viewed the CCTV footage at the mall,” said Naicker.
“The suspect was immediately identified as a security guard who was on duty at the mall and he was promptly arrested. A case of kidnapping was opened at Durban North police station.”
KZN SAPS police commissioner Lt-Gen Khombinkosi Jula issued a warning shoppers to be extra vigilant at this time.
“We are appealing to parents and guardians to always keep an eye on their children, especially during this peak festive period. At this stage we do not know what the suspect’s intentions were, but this incident once again highlights the need for us to remain vigilant at all times,” Jula said.
“We wish to applaud the grandmother for taking immediate action and informing authorities of the incident,” he said.