Cape Town - Armed robbers tried to grab cash boxes from guards delivering money to an Absa Bank branch at the N1 City shopping centre on Thursday.
Details of the incident could not be confirmed at press time, but one man, thought to be a bystander, was shot in the hand.
A witness who was caught up in the action as it unfolded said the incident was over within minutes.
“I was walking towards the Absa Bank exit when I heard shots, at about 9.30am. Then a big box came zooming along the floor, with a man with a gun running after it,” said the witness, who did not want to be named.
“I think it was a security guard who ran after the box, which I think was one of the cashboxes.
“I don’t know whether it was a robber who had thrown it down to get away, or whether a security guard had thrown it to get it away from the robbers.
“When I reached the exit, I saw a man lying on the ground. He was bleeding, I think from his hand. By that stage it seems the robbers had gotten away. The man on the ground was not a security guard.”
The witness said the event was dramatic, with shoppers shouting and many of the shops in the immediate vicinity closing their doors. At a pancake shop nearby, a bemused patron, still eating, looked on in amazement as the sliding cashbox stopped at her feet.
“But it was over very quickly and the security personnel soon had the whole thing calmed. Then of course, they got all of the public out of the area and closed it down,” the witness said.
“Near that entrance there are roadworks, and I think it must have been difficult for the robbers to get away.”
Police arrived at the scene soon afterwards.
By the time of going to press neither the police nor the centre management could provide any details.