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11 June 2012 at 08:48 - Posted by Anonymous

Help identify jewellery store gang


Goldheart Jewellers in Lenasia, which lost goods worth more than R2 million in a daring robbery last week. Despite the evidence captured on camera, police have yet to make any arrests in connection with the incident. Photo: Timothy Bernard

Not a single cent was removed from the tills, but jewellery worth R2 million was taken by gun-toting thugs during a robbery at the GoldHeart Jewellers store in Signet Terrace shopping centre in Lenasia last week.

Now Lenasia police are pleading with readers to help them track down a group of men who robbed the store. The robbery – lasting 13 minutes – was caught on CCTV camera.

On Wednesday June 6, at 3.29pm, three employees were behind the jewellery display counters when two men wearing jeans and hats entered the shop. They were followed closely by three others, one carrying a bag. All of the men’s faces were visible.

Twenty-four seconds later, the CCTV footage shows the first two men pulling out their guns, before jumping over the counter to help themselves to jewellery on display.

The pair hand over jewellery to two of their gang members, who are seen loading the jewellery inside the bags. Meanwhile, a fifth man is roaming around the door. And you can see other shoppers at the centre passing the store, seemingly oblivious to the robbery in progress.

The footage shows one of the robbers grabbing a male employee’s hand, before instructing him to place both his hands on the display table. The employee is then searched by another robber on the other side of the counter without taking anything from him, not even his cellphone.

A female employee is seen with both her hands on her head as she looks confused and shocked by the robbery. Throughout the incident both her hands are on her head.

At 3.32pm, the robbers are distracted by a customer who walks inside the shop. The two robbers packing goods inside the bag can be seen stopping loading goods and staring at the customer.

The footage shows the customer slowly walking backwards towards the doors, leaving the shop.

At 3.44pm, the footage shows robbers leaving the store carrying two bags filled with jewellery.

The last robber to leave the shop is seen removing a few necklaces while others have already made their way out.

The men run into a corridor exit, joining two other men. One of them is the very same man seen in the CCTV footage waiting outside the shop during the robbery, pretending to be an onlooker.

A few seconds later, an employee walks out of the store in the same direction as the robbers.

Two other employees lock themselves inside the store before the their colleague returns.

Police spokesman Kay Makhubela said police were investigating a case of business robbery and that no arrests had been made by on Sunday afternoon.

Makhubela said police were looking for a group of 10 men, as they believe there might have been others involved in the incident.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, two men were injured in a shooting when a gang of armed men held up the NWJ Jewellery store in a separate incident at The Boulders shopping centre in Midrand.

The seven men entered the centre via its western, ground-level entrance, just in front of the Pick n Pay store.

Once inside, they held up the two shop assistants, stealing an undisclosed amount of jewellery before departing.

The gang opened fire, hitting one of the men in the thigh and the other in the buttocks. The suspects escaped on foot, running in different directions, police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Tshisikhawe Ndou said last week.

Their Ford Bantam bakkie was abandoned in the parking lot.

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