WATCH: Brazen robbery video goes viral
A third staff member hid inside the walk-in beer fridge and called the police.
The store’s CCTV video shows two pistol-waving men wearing balaclavas shoving customers and staff to the ground and pointing their guns at the cashiers, who are forced to empty the tills.
The robbery took place during the busy business hours of Friday evening.
A man can be seen entering the store pointing a gun. A terrified security guard standing behind the door holds his hands in the air and pleads for his life.
One robber furiously waves a gun at him and shouts.
He charges at the guard, grabs him, drags him and throws him to the floor to join a woman security colleague.
Customers are seen lying flat on their stomachs, some in praying positions.
In a statement, the Gonubie-based Western Gruppe, owners of the store, said the robbery took less than five minutes.
The group’s East London operations manager, Marius le Roux, said the incident had left staff traumatised.
“They are currently receiving counselling,” he said.
This was the second armed robbery of the store in less than 12 months. The Western Gruppe bought the store from Craze Js in 2015 and turned it into a Tops.
“A large amount of money was taken by the suspects before they fled. The whole incident happened very fast,” Le Roux said.
“The police were super-fast. They responded with our guys at Lighthouse Spar. No alcohol was taken in this robbery, which was unusual.”
The store manager and his staff of three yesterday said they were not authorised to speak to the media.
East London police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Hazel Mqala said police were investigating a case of business robbery.
Mqala said they were hot on the heels of the suspects and a breakthrough was expected soon. — email@example.com