Pick ‘n Pay’s response to the alleged abduction at a Pick ‘n Pay store

Pick n Pay’s first priority is always for our customers and their safety, and we take all incidents very seriously. Thankfully the child is safe and was already back with her mother when our store staff were first alerted.

We have cooperatedfully with the police, including providing a detailed statement and sharing our CCTV footage.

We have also met the mother again since the incident to express our sympathy and support, and explain the actions we have taken.

Our understanding is that, having investigated the evidence including our CCTV footage, the police believe that this was not an attempt at kidnap and that there is no case for taking further action.

There have been many reactions to the incident at the Pick ‘n Pay Capricorn Park Muizenberg.  Some a bit alarming, some a bit concerning about the sanity in the blog-o-sphere.

I think the key issue here is that the issue is not that the specific retailer is to blame.  It is a “sense/feeling” that the incident was not handled well, and more importantly this could have happened to any of us.

You.  Me.  Anyone.

I am sure that if this had occurred in another retailer they may have dealt with it in the equally fumbling, less than ideal manner, but the reality is we will never know.  This happened, and this store dealt with it this way.

I am glad that Margo has brought this to attention – not to shame Pick ‘n Pay but to remind us how quickly things go wrong, even when you are picking lettuce up at your local retailer.

I sincerely hope that we have all learnt something from this incident.

I have three kids, and the reality is when I am shopping I cannot actually hold on to all of them, nor hold their hands no  matter how goof my best intentions are.

If you have shopped with children you will understand what I mean.

I often shop with my two youngest, and as much as I want to tell you I hold their hands the entire time.   I need to queue to purchase items and am distracted as I order at the delicatessen or the bakery.  And again cannot look at my kids as the assistant hands over the order.

I have to put groceries and kids in the car – and then I need to do something with the trolley – how do you expect me to keep all of these within eye sight?

It just is not possible.  No matter how vigilant you are.

I do not expect retailers to be responsible for my kids – but I do expect them to have a procedure in place when something occurs and listen to me if something has happened to my child.

No they are not the police.  But listen to me if I am indicating a problem, and take the time and energy to call the police so that they in turn can interview the suspects, and be able to handle the situation on the spot.

I sneaked in to a drive-in movie when I was about 11. They called the police.  I think the entry cost was R1.50.  The police came out and scared the shit out of me.

Point being, sure it is not your responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone on the planet, but if there is something that smells a bit iffy call the police, or some form of authority and allow the time to investigate, take statements – then step back.

When my kid were smaller and in the habit of throwing almighty thrombies at retail stores, I would leave them thrashing and screaming and just walk away – I would remain in ear shot so I could still hear them losing their shit in the aisle, I just would move on.

Clearly I would rethink that as a course of action.

Margo I hope you will heal from this – I cannot imagine nightmares you have.

I “almost” slammed my child’s hand in the car door when he was an infant. I didn’t.  I still think about it nearly every day and imagine the damage it could have caused.  My infant is now a 12 year old man-boy.  I still think about that day when ever he gets into my car and I close the car door.

Moms/parents worry.  Moms freak out if kids are out of their line of sight.

I hope we all have taken something positive from this experience.

Except Leon and Chuck. They have been total dicks!!!

{I think it is fine to be total dicks, but then be a dick who has no problem exposing who you are, and where we can contact you.  Be a man use your this-is-me-and-I-stand-by-my-statements-made-on-line.  Hiding behind a shite email address makes you double the dick — and a total shit head at the same time — other wise, good luck with that}

Original post and comments can be read at:  https://reluctantmom.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/abducting-babies-in-trolleys-at-pick-n-pay/

Abducting babies in trolleys at Pick ‘n Pay …..

I heard this mom speaking to John Maytham today on Cape Talk.  It was one of those conversations that makes your blood run cold.

Here is the post Margo13 put on Hellopeter:

I had the most horrific experience in Pick N Pay Capricorn Park Muizenberg yesterday, I was in the vegetable isle I turned around to pick up a lettuce and when I turned back my 4 year old daughter was gone alone with trolley .
I froze and became hysterical I then saw the 2 guys with my trolley , they told her to keep quiet and sped off with her into another isle .

I called security who let the guy go saying they were joking I called manager of Pick n Pay Yusuf who was very abrupt and told me they had mistaken my trolley with my daughter in for theirs

I do not except this I am emotionally wrecked and my daughter scared I went to Muizenberg Police Station and tried to lay a charge only to be told that they did not get away with my daughter so no case

In my view there was intention.

So she was in the supermarket, her young daughter was in the trolley, in the front fold down section – she took 5 steps from the trolley to pick up a piece of merchandise, turned around and the trolley with her child was gone.


Two men had taken the trolley and had made their way to an aisle two aisles away, where they were trying to get her daughter out of the trolley.

The woman found them, questioned them, did not believe they had taken the wrong trolley – and called security.  She was trying to apprehend two guys, and at the same time calm her child down who was clearly upset.

The store felt they could not hold the men, as the child had not been abducted, and thus there was no crime.  And then let them leave.  The store.

Clearly there was a crime in progress, and fortunately due to the quick acting mom she managed to find the men, her child and prevent them taking her child out of the store.

Can you imagine how this day could have turned out?

Margo13 had said that after she got her daughter back, her daughter had told her that the men had told her to be quiet, and that this was their secret.

Can you imagine how traumatising this must be to that mom?  To any mom.

I regularly take my kids with me, in the same trolley, in the same position – the nature of grocery shopping is you take a few steps away to grab something, then step back – one assumes your bag will be stolen, not your trolley with your child.

I would like to find how Pick ‘n Pay is going to handle this.

Surely the men should have been “asked” to accompany security to the manager’s office so they could take some information, and contact the police who in turn could speak to all parties and establish the details before letting them go.


Pick ‘n Pay can detain someone who they suspect of stealing until the police arrive.  One would think they can detain a suspect or two who are suspected of attempting to abduct a four year old child.

Surely?  Surely!

If you have heard anything more about this incident and know what is happening, please share.

The lesson : Your child is not safe anywhere.  That should feed nicely into all our paranoia.