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Manhunt launched after thugs ‘posing as cops’ rob shoppers at Limpopo mall

A group of suspects posing as police officers robbed shoppers at a mall in Limpopo. File image
A group of suspects posing as police officers robbed shoppers at a mall in Limpopo. File image
Image: Elvis Ntombela

Limpopo police are searching for a group of suspects who allegedly robbed shoppers of their valuables while posing as police officers.

The incident happened at Tafelkop Mall on Thursday when the impostors arrived in a white VW Polo Classic with flashing blue lights.

“The armed suspects were allegedly dressed in full police uniform and instructed the security officers on duty to allow them access to the premises to conduct crime prevention duties and monitor cameras at the control room,” police spokesperson Brig Hlulani Mashaba said.

“They then robbed the victims of cellphones, two-way radios and an official jacket. Police were alerted about the robbery but the suspects had already fled the scene. One police reflector jacket was recovered from the scene,” he said.

Police said the “impostors are not affiliated with law enforcement authorities” and warned business owners to remain vigilant against such people as they “may attempt to gain access to business premises or request sensitive information”.

Mashaba confirmed various police units — visible policing, detectives, counterfeit and contraband task teams — were doing “high-density operations” targeting counterfeit products, contraband and expired food sold at spaza shops and supermarkets.

“Officers attached to the detectives [unit] are working in normal private clothes and do not wear name tags. If shop owners have suspicions, they have the right to ask officials to identify themselves by showing their appointment cards, which must be carried by every police official executing their duties,” he said.

Limpopo police commissioner Lt-Col Thembi Hadebe said: “We urge shop owners to verify the credentials of anyone claiming to be a police officer and report suspicious activity to the local police station immediately.

“Your safety and security is our priority and we are investigating these incidents of criminals hell-bent on tarnishing the image of the police.”

TimesLIVE

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