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Retailers beware - Robbers are planning to cash in over Easter too

| Crime and security

As you prepare to take a break this Easter‚ criminals are getting busy. And why wouldn't they when the country has R130 billion of cold hard cash in circulation at any one time?

Company Cash Connect Management Solutions released its latest cash crime trends and warned that April will likely be a busy period for business crime‚ as consumers go on holiday and there is more cash on retail outlet premises.

“All indications suggest that the retail sector experienced an over 150% increase in robberies in 2016. In the same period‚ the use of plastic explosives in attempts to steal from cash deposit devices increased by over 400%.

 “We can reasonably expect to see a spike in business crime during April as consumers go on holiday and the volume of cash increases at retail stores across the country‚” Cash Connect CEO Richard Phillips said.

According to the company's statistics armed robberies account for over 50% of crime against retail businesses.

The perpetrators of attacks on retail outlets and cash-in-transit vehicles are very sophisticated and organised‚ Phillips said.

 “Ninety percent of attacks on businesses occur with some form of inside knowledge‚ whether that is voluntary or unintentional. The bandits know what's going on in the business‚ they are not simply taking a chance.

“They know when the money is at its highest value‚ where it is in the store and how to be able to attack that store‚ get hold of the money‚ and get out of the store in the shortest possible time. When I say the shortest possible time‚ more often than not that occurs within three minutes.”

Most attacks on retail businesses happen when cash values are high and overnight when stores are closed.

Saturdays and Sundays‚ between 11pm and 2am‚ is when 80% of burglaries take place. Trends shows that syndicates attack in groups of about six to 12 armed men.

Criminals are also becoming more savvy with parking and keeping getaway vehicles clear of store forecourts‚ which are covered by surveillance cameras.

In 2015/2016 close to 20 000 attacks were carried out on businesses and cash-in-transit robberies were up by 15%‚ according to national crime statistics. In South Africa there were 205 burglaries daily and 54 armed robberies daily.

Phillips commended new police minister Fikile Mbalula's commitment to create a specialised police task force to deal with cash crime.

“The industry on its own cannot fight this battle. It's hugely important that there is recognition at government level that cash is a very important part of our economy and needs priority [in terms of crime interventions].”

- TMG Digital

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