ACTION: Cape Town city centre brought to standstill as robbers targeted Cash Crusaders store

Just  a day after a robbery at a Cash Crusaders store in Khayelistha, another branch was targeted by brazen robbers in the city centre yesterday.
There was chaos in the Cape Town CBD when armed robbers held up the second-hand store on Strand Street, which led to a shutdown of a large part of the city centre amid fears of a hostage situation.

Police confirm they are now searching for two suspects who held up the shop shortly before noon.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana says: “Cape Town police are investigating circumstances surrounding a business robbery at a second-hand goods store on the corner of Strand and Loop Streets at 11.47am.

“According to available information, two suspects entered the premises, threatened employees with a firearm and a knife and ordered them to go to the back of the store,” Rwexana says.

“The suspects fled the scene with a cellphone. No injuries were reported. The investigation continues.”

On Tuesday, two shoppers were shot and injured after three skelms targeted Cash Crusaders at the KCT Mall in Khayelitsha.

One suspect, 25, was caught and arrested while the other two got away with an undisclosed amount of money and are still at large.

Yesterday, police task force members entered the store where an apparent hostage situation developed but left after a short while as the robbers had already left.

Firefighters later entered as smoke could be seen inside the store, but it was unclear what caused the smoke.

There was a heavy police presence as Strand Street between Loop and Long streets was cordoned off, bringing lunchtime traffic to a standstill.

Hundreds of people had gathered to watch from behind police tape, as several city security personnel and members of other emergency services were also on standby.

A woman, who did not want to be identified, said she was buying a plane ticket at a nearby airline company office when “we just saw people and police and guns”.

“The police escorted us out,” the woman said.