Blind criminals cannot steal

November 2010 Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, Retail (Industry)

Smoke screens can be an effective deterrent.

Ram raids and armed robberies are an on-going issue in South Africa, and the recent spate of aggressive attacks on stores inside shopping malls has consumers and shop-owners concerned. It is becoming more evident that it is at this time of year that armed robberies become the act of choice for would-be perpetrators and it is specifically jewellery stores that seem to be their target. Not only are the contents of the stores at risk, but more innocent lives are falling victim too.

The scene

An attempted armed robbery took place at a prominent jewellery store in a shopping mall in Centurion. This is how the story unfolds.

It was a quiet Wednesday morning, and the jewellery store had just opened for business.


Six armed robbers enter the shopping mall and split up into three sections to grab the security guards standing in the mall.


Two of the robbers enter the store and grab the security guard, announcing this was an armed robbery.


Sales assistant sees what is happening and triggers the smoke unit using a remote panic button.


Suspect 1 gets to the back and is surprised by the smoke. Suspect 2 tells him to continue to the safe.


Suspect 1 continues to the back safe but is wary and unsure of what is happening.


Security guard is pushed forward by another. Suspect draws his firearm.


Other robbers outside enter the store to see what is happening.


Smoke has filled the back room and almost the entire store.


Suspect at the back panics as he cannot see the key holder or the exit and flees, jumping over the counter to get out, together with his accomplices.


Security guards come to the scene.


Armed police arrive at the mall, the suspects are long gone.

Client’s testimonial: “Installing this security smoke screen was the best money I have ever spent.” To date, this is the only incident reported at this particular store. The attempted robbery was over in 23 seconds.

The solution

Security Smoke Screen systems are designed and installed to deter intruders and subsequent loss prevention. Consider the alternatives:

* Physical security such as shutters and grilles are unsightly and really only raises the level of violence employed to gain access to your premises. If the thieves want to get in, they will.

* CCTV is no longer a deterrent to professional thieves. They simply mask their features. Even monitored CCTV is ignored (as demonstrated in this instance). The criminals plan to be gone before a response can be raised.

* Conventional alarm systems are simply ignored. The intruders are gone in under 3 minutes on average. This is a serious challenge for armed response and police.

Security Smoke Screen reacts and defends in seconds. It confuses criminals and at the same time, conceals the contents of the store under a thick blanket of non-lethal, non-toxic, non-contaminating, and more importantly, residue-free thermal smoke.

The introduction of fog to an area is both violent and confrontational, exactly what a criminal does not want. In his mind, the time he has to complete his task is deteriorating rapidly, but more importantly, he can no longer see what he came to steal.

Visit YouTube at to view the actual CCTV surveillance footage of the incident as detailed in this article.

For more information contact Sensis Technologies, +27 (0)11 791 0499,,

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