Jewel ‘thieves’ swoop in
This week’s jewellery heist is the second stores in Somerset Mall have fallen prey to within a few months.
Six armed men swooped on a jewellery store near Entrance 2 on Sunday 16 February (“Foiled robbery attempt at mall”, DistrictMail, 20 February). Entering the mall the robbers held five security guards hostage and immediately made for Van Deijl Jewellers.
The armed robbery was foiled when the men smashed the window of the store and the security shutters were immediately activated. The suspects escaped with no jewellery and made off in two getaway vehicles.
Tuesday’s (11 August) incident at another jewellery store, also close to Entrance 2, however, played out differently.
A suspect was shot dead and another wounded in a shoot-out with police following the armed robbery, less than six months after the last.
According to Sergeant Suzan Jantjies, spokesperson for Somerset West police, the deceased was among a group of five suspected robbers who pounced on the jewellery store at 10:20 on Tuesday.
She said four men armed with firearms and a crowbar targeted the store. They allegedly smashed in a display window, threatened staff who were forced into a back room and made off with jewellery.
Mall security who responded to the incident apprehended a 30-year-old suspect from Crossroads. It is believed the other four fled in a white Audi, which was pursued by police and authorities on the N2.
It ended with the getaway vehicle landing in a ditch along the highway outside Khayelitsha.
“A suspect was shot dead and a 31year-old suspect from Delft, who was wounded in the leg and arm, was receiving medical treatment under police guard,” Jantjies said. “Two suspects managed to evade arrest by fleeing on foot and remain at large.”
A firearm and some jewellery items were found in the vehicle.
Police are investigating a case of business robbery, while the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has launched its own investigation into the shooting.
In a media statement released in light of Tuesday’s armed robbery, Somerset Mall management confirmed five of six suspects had entered African Diamond, held up staff and helped themselves to an undisclosed amount of jewellery.
“The suspects fled, however five of the six were apprehended. Police located the getaway vehicle in Khayelitsha and the jewellery was recovered,” read their statement.
“No shots were fired nor any injuries sustained on the scene, and the centre is currently trading as normal.”