Wed, 03 Jun 2020

Seven people have been arrested following the looting of a liquor store in Elsies River on Thursday morning - one of four instances where alcohol was pillaged from businesses across the Western Cape in the last 24 hours.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said the authorities had responded to the Avonwood Mall, where a liquor store had been broken into.

"Several suspects are alleged to have gained entry to the store by breaking a door open and they looted bottles of alcohol," she added.

"A tracing operation in the area resulted in the arrest of seven suspects between the ages of 18 and 33. They have been charged with burglary and theft."

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A video of the incident shows adults and children scrambling for liquor through a broken storefront window. Some walk off with armfuls of liquor before what appears to be mall staff intervening and chasing the looters away.

In a separate incident, a 30-year-old woman was arrested in the early hours of Thursday by Steenberg police in Retreat.

"[While on patrol], they witnessed two suspects stepping out of a liquor store with bottles of alcohol. The suspects fled and the police gave chase," Potelwa said.

The woman was arrested and charged with burglary and theft, while more suspects were still being sought.

In Hermanus, two suspects in their late twenties were arrested for burglary and theft after a liquor store's window was broken and several bottles of alcohol were stolen in the early hours of Thursday.

Both are in police custody on charges of burglary and theft.

On Wednesday night, six people were arrested by Mbekweni police after a liquor store in the area was broken into and alcohol looted.

"It is alleged that about 20 youths stormed the business premises after they broke a door to the store thereby gaining access. Yet-to-be determined quantities of liquor were taken," Potelwa said.

A similar incident is believed to have taken place in Belhar on Thursday. The police are yet to confirm this incident.

Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata said officers would find and arrest those breaking the law, saying they have "intensified all efforts".

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