December 27, 2015

#ATTACK: Brief scare after 'confused, unknown man' tried to take a little Afrikaans girl from shopping-trolley:

Witbank Shopping Mall asks parents to guard against kidnapping: : "We deal with up to eight lost children a day..."

Brief scare after 'confused, unknown man' tried to take a little Afrikaans girl from shopping-trolley: Dec 23 2015 Reported by Witbank News journalist Samantha Traill - 
"For one family in Witbank, South Africa, they are grateful that nothing happened to their little daughter two days before Christmas.
The Witbank News reports that 'the Highveld Mall has been extremely busy the last few weeks, as many people have flocked to the mall to do Christmas shopping. 
On Wednesday, December 23 Mr Philip Coetser, along with his wife Ms Janita Coetser and their children were in the mall doing shopping.
After working up an appetite after all the shopping, the Coetser family stopped to get some samoosas.
That’s when they bumped into another family member in the mall and they began to speak.
According to the Coetser’s their daughter was in the trolley that they were using and it was right next to them.
A 21-year-old man (described as 'mentally disabled, weraing a bright shiny yellow hat ) 
walked straight towards the little Afrikaans girl seated inside the trolley at that stage.
According to the man "the little girl smiled at him and then stretched out her arms to him."
It is claimed that 'being mentally challenged the man could not resist and he leaned into the trolley and tried to pick the girl up.
Mr Coetser noticed what was happening and he gave the man a tap on his arm and told him ‘No.’
The family then noticed a security guard and told him about what just happened.
Within minutes the security guard started searching the mall for the man that the family described to them.
In the control room while viewing the cameras he was found in the food court, still wearing the same clothes and he had a Spur balloon in his hand.
He was taken to the holding cell inside Highveld Mall where he was questioned and a photo was taken of him, the Coetser family positively identified him.
Police were called to the mall where a statement was taken and the police took him away from the mall.
“We would like to thank the Highveld Mall security guards for their quick reaction,” said the Coetser family.

Ms Sandra Van der Walt, the Highveld Mall General Manager sent out an official statement: 
" An allegation of attempted child kidnapping was reported to Highveld Mall security in passing on Wednesday, December 23 approximately an hour to 45 minutes after the incident occurred. The suspect was easily identified and located as he was still in the mall. He was remanded in custody by centre security officers. It became immediately clear that the suspect was mentally unstable and reports later emerged that he had been begging for money and cigarettes in the mall. The family of the child decided not to open a case. After further investigation and questioning by mall security and the SAPS, it became clear that there was never any malicious intent on the part of the suspect, and he was merely interacting with the child. Mall security do not believe that this was an attempted kidnapping.
"The suspect, a local resident of Vosman, has been issued a banning order and as such will be charged with trespassing should he return to the mall.
"Parents need to be vigilant at all times, just as this family was. We still far too often notice toddlers dawdling along behind their parents at a distance. Although there was no criminal intent in this incident, we all know that there are predators out there and it remains a parents’ first responsibility to ensure the safety of their children in any public space,” said Vanderwalt.
"Facilities Manager Riaan Stoop then added: “We deal with up to eight lost children, or rather ‘missing parents’ daily at this time of year, purely due to parental negligence.
"It is shocking how irresponsible some parents are. We are relieved that this local family were indeed so vigilant. ” https://facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1218980721449098&substory_index=0&id=116752351671946