FIVE women, aged between 28 and 40, are in custody in connection with a scam which left customers shopping at a Komani clothing retailer without their belongings.
The scam allegedly involved convincing women to leave their belongings with a woman or women outside stores while going inside to identify clothing which could then allegedly be purchased at half price.
The customers, however, returned to find that their personal belongings had been stolen.
According to the police, the women are being investigated for thefts outside a local clothing store this month.
The Rep reported (“Scam alert,” April 1 2016) that an Ezibeleni resident, Sesethu Sam, had been allegedly duped into parting with her handbag by women she met while buying shoes. The women allegedly promised her a discount as a friend worked for the shop.
Sam said at the time she was grouped with other women who were also promised a discount.
She said they were told to leave their belongings and to go to identify the clothing items. On their return they found that the women – and their belongings – had vanished.
The arrested women have not been linked with this incident, but the modus operandi was the same.
This week police spokeswoman Captain Namhla Mdleleni said five women were identified by a person who allegedly fell victim to the scam in Mdantsane. The women were apparently identified and arrested in Nonesi Mall.
“The five women appeared in the Komani Magistrate’s Court on Monday and their cases were postponed to today for further investigation. They remain in custody as there are pending cases and warrants of arrest against some of them.”
Cases had been opened in Mdantsane and Graaff-Reinet.