Victims of the notorious Rolex gang speak about their ordeal in Woodmead

Photo of a Rolex watch


Following several reported cases of a watch-theft syndicate, another case of armed robbery, theft of a watches and attempted hijacking has come to light.

The incident occurred on 21 March at around 11.30am in the parking lot outside Baby City in Woodmead. The victim was sitting with his wife and their six-month-old baby in their car when they were accosted by two males armed with guns.

The victim Jason Hawkins spoke about their ordeal that occurred at the centre managed by Dipula. “There were three suspects – two came out of the car and the third was the driver. They stole my Rolex watch and my wife’s wedding ring,” said Hawkins.


“A bigger concern to me was that they were insistent on taking the car keys, which I refused to give them.”

He said there was no way they were leaving with his wife and six-month-old baby still in the car. “The suspect then threatened to shoot me, cocked the gun again and pointed it more directly at me.”

Hawkins told the suspect that he would need to shoot as he will not get the car keys. The suspects then ran back to their getaway vehicle, a white Audi S3 with a false registration number.

“My biggest issue is that nobody is taking this seriously. It is not about the theft of jewellery or a watch. I keep telling them that the suspects were insisting on taking the car, knowing that my wife and baby were in the car. That is kidnapping and a completely different ball game that we are dealing with,” said Hawkins.

“More than 90 per cent of their customers are vulnerable mothers with babies, which are clearly a soft target.”

Read Rolex gang strikes again

Hawkins also stated that Dipula was unable to provide him with CCTV footage as their cameras are not operational.

Constable David Mothapo, spokesperson for the Sandton Police Station said the complainant was putting the baby in the car seat when he was ambushed by two suspects who demanded his car keys.When he refused, one of the suspects took his wife’s wedding ring and his wrist watch at gunpoint. No shots were fired. The suspects then got into an Audi S3 and drove away.

Gary Kenning, technical and stakeholder manager for Dipula said, “An incident occurred in the parking area of Woodmead Square on 21 March. We were informed by our security that two men approached customers as they were returning to their vehicle after visiting the centre. The two men allegedly pointed a firearm and demanded valuables from the customers before fleeing. Our security managed to obtain the details of the vehicle.

“Unfortunately, there has been a number of incidents in the Woodmead area which the police are aware of and we await their further intervention and commitment to safeguard the area.”

Do you feel safe at shopping centres where incidents like this happen? Have you been robbed in a centre’s parking lot? Please let us know by posting on the Sandton Chronicle Facebook page.

Pieter Dempsey

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