Armed SWAT-like security at Belconnen Mall

By 15 January, 2012 21

So I was at the mall this morning having a coffee with my wife when I noticed this dude dressed all in black walking towards us. The general vibe the guy was putting out seemed unusual, so I had a closer look. The outfit consisted of black tactical gear, including cargo pants and military style boots with the pants bloused. What really caught my eye though, was that he was carrying a handgun in a hip holster. It was a large polymer framed semi-auto like a Glock or a S&W M&P. This was disturbing, to say the least.

He walked past where we were sitting, and I saw that he had the word “Security” in white letters on the back of his shirt, which didn’t make me feel better at all. I’ve seen lots of armed security guards over the years, and this guy didn’t look anything like them. He was just walking along in the mall, and as far as I could tell he wasn’t specifically guarding anything, and he didn’t appear to be part of a team.

Is this a new Westfield thing? I really don’t like the idea of rentacops in intimidating looking tactical gear carrying guns around the mall on Sunday morning while I’m doing my shopping.

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21 Responses to Armed SWAT-like security at Belconnen Mall
#1
Brooklynite1:19 pm, 15 Jan 12

My initial thought is that it was an employee of one of the various cash in transit companies. They still make collections on weekends, and they also refill ATMs around the mall.

He could have been the vanguard/sternguard for the team making the collection/drop?

#2
jools1:45 pm, 15 Jan 12

Brooklynite said :

My initial thought is that it was an employee of one of the various cash in transit companies. They still make collections on weekends, and they also refill ATMs around the mall.

He could have been the vanguard/sternguard for the team making the collection/drop?

Yep, I’ve seen dudes in that sort of gear by the ATM in the food court refilling ‘em. Made me jump too. Have they replaced that ATM since the explosion?

#3
LSWCHP2:28 pm, 15 Jan 12

Right both times.

I called the mall management, and the guy I spoke to said he’d had another report about this bloke, so he’d got his security people to investigate. The guy was guarding an ATM cash transit worker.

So all was OK in this case, but it leaves me thinking about the social engineering implications of what happened. A guy carrying a gun in civilian clothes would have the cops around in seconds. The same guy in paramilitary clothes with “Security” written on the shirt is automatically assumed to be righteous and doesn’t get a second glance from most people.

I know a couple of blokes who do armed security work, so I’ll have a chat to them about it.

#4
Voytek3:12 pm, 15 Jan 12

Can someone explain to me what the issue is here? You saw a security guard…OK – You seem like a sheltered person. Armed guards are not unusual.

#5
creative_canberran3:18 pm, 15 Jan 12

I saw what sounds like the exact same guy in Woden three weeks ago. He was driving a small black hatchback (Hyundai Getz I think) which he parked outside the corner of Woden Plaza near Woden Town Square.

He strolled from his vehicle into the square where he met up with a couple of tradies who were beside a work van parked outside Katmandu. What caught my eye was the very cheap looking black t-shirt with “Security” written in white letters on the back… and the fact he was carrying a semi-automatic very prominently. He also had an ID card hanging off his belt. He wasn’t carrying any cash in transit gear or escorting anyone, so why the gun?

I’ve seen private security around the place before with guns, some solo and some in teams from well known companies like Chubb, but they tend to wear more professional looking uniforms and have revolvers.

My first though was there’s two banks nearby, could this be a bank job about to go down?

Anyway the two tradies started laughing and one even said out loud words to the effect “look, there’s the man with the gun” to him in a jovial/mocking tone. He laughed and replied with something I couldn’t hear, they seemed to know one another.

Anyway really dodgy look. Even if it’s legit, not sure I’d trust some bloke like that. You see the Chubb guys and they have a certain precision to there routine, you have some confidence that if something goes haywire they know what to do. Not sure I’d want to be around when Robocop gets in a panic.

#6
dph4:14 pm, 15 Jan 12

@LSWCHP By any chance, do you wear a tin foil hat?

#7
Pork Hunt4:49 pm, 15 Jan 12

Brooklynite said :

My initial thought is that it was an employee of one of the various cash in transit companies. They still make collections on weekends, and they also refill ATMs around the mall.

He could have been the vanguard/sternguard for the team making the collection/drop?

Excellent use of the word “vanguard”, in more ways than one.

#8
Mr Waffle5:52 pm, 15 Jan 12

dph said :

@LSWCHP By any chance, do you wear a tin foil hat?

Considering only last week we had that whole “fake police pulling a car over and robbing them”, I wouldn’t think it’s too much of a stretch… the average “law-abiding Australian” is so submissive to authority that dressing up like this could probably get you anywhere.

#9
fabforty6:07 pm, 15 Jan 12

I think LSWCHP was right to be a bit concerned. If this guy does security work, he clearly needs to display a bit more information about it when he is in a public place, to avoid this kind of alarm.

Frankly he sounds like a bit of a wanker who gets off on his security role and enjoys strutting around everywhere he can, looking intimidating.

#10
p17:08 pm, 15 Jan 12

I’ve seen a guy (can only assume the same one) around a few times in Jamo, and Belco. Each time he has been one of the usual three man team servicing or refilling an ATM. While every other ATM guard I’ve ever seen wears pretty traditional dress, this guy appeared to be compensating for something….

Clearly not regulation dress for any of the big companies. Wether he is subcontracting or what, he clearly has some paramilitary fantasies. I’ve met people like that before, and when they are carrying a gun they scare me.

#11
LSWCHP7:45 pm, 15 Jan 12

Mr Waffle said :

dph said :

@LSWCHP By any chance, do you wear a tin foil hat?

Considering only last week we had that whole “fake police pulling a car over and robbing them”, I wouldn’t think it’s too much of a stretch… the average “law-abiding Australian” is so submissive to authority that dressing up like this could probably get you anywhere.

Yes indeed.

I’ve worked in Fyshwick for over 20 years, and I’ve seen the uniformed armoured car guys doing cash runs at the banks hundreds of times. They’re low key, professional looking people who work in teams. They wear easily recognised uniforms and carry .38 S&W revolvers. This guy didn’t look like them

I also have two mates who do armed security work, including concealed firearm carry on occasions. This guy didn’t look like them either

I don’t need to be wearing my tinfoil hat to say that this guy presented a very surprising image amongst a crowd of shoppers on Sunday morning. And it’s not because I’m frightened of guns. I own more guns than you could poke a stick at and I am would many people would incorrectly categorise as a gun nut, so no problem there. It was the combination of a strangely dressed guy with interesting body language carrying a gun towards me, my wife and one of my boys in a mall full of shoppers on Sunday morning. I thought that was worth paying a lot of attention to.

#12
fgzk7:50 pm, 15 Jan 12

Ive seen him in the car park. I thought he looked nice. I guessed his job is to shoot people.

#13
knuckles8:41 pm, 15 Jan 12

Iv’e seen these security people at Belco mall a few times and was able to work out they were there to provide security for the filling of ATM’s. What worries me is what is he going to do with that gun? If someone tries to rob the guards when they are filling up the ATM’s, is he going to pull it out and start shooting in a crowded shopping mall? And if not, why carry the gun in the 1st place. If its a single unarmed offender there will be better ways to detain them. If they have weapons do we really want a gun battle in a crowded shopping centre?

#14
LSWCHP10:03 pm, 15 Jan 12

knuckles said :

Iv’e seen these security people at Belco mall a few times and was able to work out they were there to provide security for the filling of ATM’s. What worries me is what is he going to do with that gun? If someone tries to rob the guards when they are filling up the ATM’s, is he going to pull it out and start shooting in a crowded shopping mall? And if not, why carry the gun in the 1st place. If its a single unarmed offender there will be better ways to detain them. If they have weapons do we really want a gun battle in a crowded shopping centre?

Yep. Guns can be used, which is why I’m all in favour of locking up armed offenders for a long time.

Personally, I can’t envision any circumstances where he could justifiably use that weapon in a crowded shopping mall, so I’m thinking it’s security theatre more than anything else.

And to Voytek#4, thanks…you really made my day with that “sheltered person” comment.

#15
Wraith8:27 am, 16 Jan 12

Next time you see him, call out “Company leader calling Raymond, come in Raymond” see what he does, could be good for a laugh…………

#16
OverLord8:43 am, 16 Jan 12

I saw this guy at Belco to, stuck out like a sore thumb. Maybe we are sheltered in Canberra, I’m just not used to seeing a guy (not a cop) walking around carrying a Glock.

Really though, this guy just needs to swap out to a more likeable, generic looking security type uniform and he would just blend in fine. Maybe get a hat as well, yeah a hat would go a long way.

#17
Mang9:06 am, 16 Jan 12

AFP and APS are mostly hopeless shooters from what I’ve seen at the range.

I know alot of security guards who are members of the local shooting clubs, far better shooters.

I feel safer with the guards having guns than the cops…

#18
Chop719:13 am, 16 Jan 12

I think you should take him on and lay a shirtfront or clothesline the guy.
See if it gets a cap in your arse.

#19
NoImRight10:59 am, 16 Jan 12

My work for years involved dealing with Secuirty types that were always armed. They would normally not be on their own (at least keep each other in sight) and keep in pretty constant radio contact. Also, as others have said, they all had proper uniforms not shirts they got at the screen printing shop. Seems dodgy but just in a “hes probably a wanker kind of way.

#20
EvanJames12:01 pm, 16 Jan 12

I’m just waiting now for our Officer Tackleberry wannabe to exercise his right of reply in the approved Riotact way. Lots of mis-spellings, grammatical bishes and plenty of swearing. My popcorn is ready.

#21
DUB12:27 pm, 16 Jan 12

dph said :

@LSWCHP By any chance, do you wear a tin foil hat?

+1:)
People will find any reason to cause more stress to themselves. Unbelievable :)

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