Public questions security at Rochester Place following recent robbery in car park

The public are concerned about the effectiveness of security at Rochester Place in Rivonia Road after an incident where a woman was robbed in the car park on 28 June. Photo: Sarah Koning

Members of the public are questioning security at Rochester Place, a medical centre in Rivonia Road, after a woman was robbed in the parking lot on 28 June.

Manisha Algu, who was driving a Maserati, was followed and robbed of possessions worth R200 000.

Tracey-Lee Purto, who visits a paediatrician at Rochester Place, said she feels unsafe when she takes her children to the doctor. “I’m not surprised to hear that there was an incident. The security there is lax. Some days I have to sign in, other days I don’t. Their book is useless and there is no way of verifying the information people fill in. I have never seen guards patrolling the property.

“It takes time to get in and out of the car with small children and I don’t feel safe. There are always ways of deterring crime.” Purto suggested that guards scan licences to allow vehicles access to the property.

Kim Goldblum responded to a post on Facebook saying, “Outrageous! The security is non-existent. They barely look at you. It’s window dressing. Management needs to address this as a matter of urgency.”

Others expressed their fear of returning to the doctors because of the security situation. Nadine Ferreira said that a similar incident happened to her in November 2015. “I was visiting a paediatrician at Rochester Place and it appeared that a car had followed me from the mall in Rosebank. There was no access control at Rochester Place so I doubt the criminals were stopped either,” she said.

“We parked and then four men with guns got out of the car, which had parked behind us, and took my jewellery, wedding ring and sunglasses. It was the most terrifying experience of my life and my six-month-old child was with me. I haven’t been back to Rochester Place since then and I don’t intend to.”

Building manager at Rochester Place, Khethang Mmutse said, “We take names and registration numbers when people come through the gate. In the instance of the robbery, there were three cars following the woman when she came through the gate… I am sorry about this incident. Security was present and we are doing what we can to assist police.”

Mmutse said Rochester Place has strengthened its security following the incident and now has seven security guards on the property. They are also in discussions with the doctors and laboratories based on the premises about requesting that patients present ID before being allowed to access the property.

RELATED: Driver followed and robbed outside doctors’ rooms at Rochester Place

He said that a suggestion has been made that guards call doctors and confirm appointments before cars can enter. He also confirmed that guards will not only monitor the entrances but also patrol the property.

“These incidents are not only happening at Rochester Place. People must be vigilant and observe if someone is following them,” added Mmutse.

Have you experienced a similar incident at Rochester Place? Visit the Sandton Chronicle Facebook page and tell us your story.

Sarah Koning

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