Heist duo due in court

Winhall & de Stadler Jewellers was closed the day after the robbery.

Two alleged members of the gang that robbed a Blue Route Mall jewellery store were due to appear in court yesterday.

Five men – two of them carrying guns – raided Winhall & de Stadler Jewellers on Monday, smashing display cases and grabbing the expensive contents – it was the latest in a string of jewellery-store heists across the city in the past two months.

According to police spokeswoman Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana, a policeman at the mall chased the robbers and shots were fired in the parking lot.

The officer apprehended two of the alleged robbers. The men are aged 24 and 28.

There were no reports of injuries.

Henry Adams, a cashier at the Dis-Chem near the jewellery shop, told how he had seen a man walk into the store with a hammer covered in a plastic bag.

“I think he covered part of the hammer with plastic so that it wouldn’t make too much noise when he broke the glass,” he said.

As the man started smashing the display cases, the other robbers ran into the store carrying folded-up bags, which they stuffed with loot.

Mr Adams said the man with the hammer had been dressed in a black hoodie, black pants, black and white Converse sneakers and a cap.

CCTV footage from the day shows the robbers all wearing caps.

Another Dis-Chem cashier said she had run to the back of the store during the robbery because was scared.

Last week, police said they were investigating a possible link between two robberies that happened within four hours of each other at malls in Kenilworth and

other at malls in Kenilworth and Claremont on Monday August 12.

Five men smashed display cabinets at Kenilworth Centre’s Foschini at 11am and took an undisclosed number of cellphones, according to Claremont police station commander Colonel Maree Louw.

Less than four hours later, at
2.30pm, five men robbed Kamaldien Jewellers at Cavendish Square, in Claremont.

Colonel Louw said the robbers took “an undisclosed amount of jewellery” without firing any shots.

It was the second time in less than four months that Kamaldien Jewellers had been robbed.

Four robbers took an estimated R1.5 million worth of jewellery from it in May.

Other recent jewellery store robberies include:

* Diamond Works in the City Centre on Friday July 5.

* The Mount Nelson’s jewellery store on Tuesday July 16.

* Uwe Koetter Jewellers at the Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village in Green Point on Wednesday July 31.

* Van Deijl Jewellers at Tyger Valley shopping centre on Wednesday August 7.

The morning after the robbery Winhall & de Stadler Jewellers was closed and staff wearing blue gloves could be seen cleaning up the store. None of them wanted to speak to the media. Blue Route’s centre management said they were co-operating with the police investigation and urged anyone with information about the heist to contact the SAPS.

The mall would not say what, if any, steps it planned to take to improve security following the robbery.

“Blue Route Mall continuously modifies and updates its security operations in terms of industry best practice, but for confidentiality reasons, we are unable to disclose the various strategies that are put in place from time to time.” said an unnamed Blue Route Mall spokesperson.

Another jewellery store at the mall, Harris & D’arcy Jewellers,
was robbed in a similar fashion in 2015.

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