Footage of a mother and her three children at a Steers in Paarl recently went viral on social media.

The video captures the eldest child stealing a bag from an unaware patron.

The four family members were captured standing near the entrance of the fast-food restaurant in Paarl Mall.

After moving to where the victim is seated, the mother is seen taking her cellphone out of her pocket while her eldest daughter kneels down near the victim’s table.

The video shows the daughter waiting for an opportune moment to take the bag out from under the table while the patron is looking away.

The bag is then stolen without anyone noticing.

South African Police Services spokesperson, Captain FC Van Wyk, confirmed that the theft took place earlier this month.

“The incident referred to in the footage made available on social media occurred on the 11th of November,” he said.

Van Wyk said police are currently investigating the incident.

“A theft case is currently being investigated by the Paarl Police. No other incidents pertaining to the suspects in the footage have been reported to SAPS Paarl before or after the incident of the 11th. Detectives are following up on all leads, investigations continue.”

Here are some tips to protect your personal items in public: 

– Always keep and eye on your belongings

– Be aware of your surroundings

– Keep essentials and valuables, such as your car keys, bank card and cellphone, on your person at all times

– Do not leave your bag zipped open. Its zipped side must be facing towards you

– Make copies of important documents you normally keep in your handbag or wallet.

Picture:Facebook/ CCTV footage


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