THE OWNERS of Choppies supermarket in Nkulumane 12 heaved a huge sigh of relief after armed robbers failed on their mission to break open a safe containing more than $60 000 in cash on Thursday.
The robbers, who are still on the run, got inside the Choppies storeroom through a small opening they made in the ceiling at around 3am, as recorded by security cameras.
They walked over a security camera that was placed facing the main door, shifting it to a dark place and laid a carton of tissues on the floor for them to lay the safe.
The suspects pulled down a safe that weighs more than 150 kilogrammes to the layer of tissues to avoid a thumping noise and then cut a 30 centimetre hole through the metal cover of the safe so they could get access to the money inside.
To the robbers’ misfortune, a slab of concrete blocked the metal cover making it impossible for them to gain access to the money.
Felone Moyo, Choppies Nkulumane general manager, said they were lucky no groceries were stolen as the thieves’ clearly targeted cash only.
“They had all the access to our stock in the storeroom, but nothing was taken, only the tissues they used to lay the safe down were damaged and they are quite costly,” he said.
“This is a rough season for businesses like supermarkets, as we are prone to robberies since the festive season has begun.
“We have since taken this as a precaution to tighten our security because seemingly we still had lax security.”
Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko is a board member and shareholder at the supermarket chain. Efforts to get comment from the police were futile as their spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.