THE Maseru Mall management is beefing up security following a spate of thefts and robberies at the shopping centre.
This was said by the Centre Manager, Baholo Chimombe, at a recent press conference which the management held in conjunction with the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) and the Group Four Security Company (G4S).
The mall houses 76 shops and offices including well-known brands like Shoprite, Game, Edgars as well as commercial banks.
Botho University and the Ministry of Home Affairs’ National Identity and Civil Registry (NICR) are also housed at the Maseru Mall.
However, several incidents of thefts and robberies at the mall in recent times have prompted management to consider beefing up security to protect customers and tenants.
“We have had reports of robberies and incidences of car theft and these have all been reported to the police who are investigating,” Mr Chimombe said, adding that suspects had been arrested in connection with some of the crimes.
“We have security personnel that include the police and the G4S but unfortunately we have been unable to prevent all criminal acts because we are short-staffed. We however, wish to allay our patrons’ fears and reassure them that their safety is our number one priority.”
LMPS Sub-Inspector Lefu Thaela, who is stationed at Maseru Mall, said the most common reports they received were those of robberies where criminals broke into parked vehicles to steal money and other valuables.
Mr Thaela further said that patrons exposed themselves to crime through the failure to take appropriate measures to protect their valuables from possible theft.
“People either leave their cars unlocked or their windows open. They also leave money and other valuables in full view and criminals are tempted to break car windows to steal whatever they can. We plead with people to take better care of their belongings,” Mr Thaela said.
Speaking at the same event, police spokesperson, Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli underscored the need for additional security at the mall.
Mr Mopeli added that the police were faced with staffing challenges that prevented them from providing adequate security wherever it was required.
“We are devising some security measures to ensure the safety of all the users of mall. We also appeal to the public to look after their belongings. People should remember that they could be inviting criminals to commit crimes by leaving their valuables unattended,” Mr Mopeli said.
He also warned the public against making false claims that exaggerated the occurrence of crimes at the mall.
On his part, the Director of G4S, Marius Bekker, said there were plans to install surveillance cameras in the car parking area to detect crime.
“We have a challenge of limited security personnel but we are working to remain ahead of criminals,” Mr Bekker said.