LESS than a month after R500 000 worth of jewellery and R80 000 in cash was stolen from the safe of a prominent Pietermaritzburg family, swift work by Pietermaritzburg Crime Intelligence and Mountain Rise Trace Unit has led to arrests and the recovery of some of the loot. Other items recovered included a home entertainment system, laptops and cellphones. Last month, an elderly Mountain Rise woman was held up in her home, assaulted with the butt of a firearm and forced to open the family vault. The well-known business family have asked not to be named for fear of being targeted again. The arrests came during the early hours of Friday morning when Crime Intelligence officers followed up on information in a joint operation. Colonel Jay Naicker confirmed that three suspects were taken in for questioning. A source said the suspect who allegedly master-minded the robbery was a former employee of the family. It is believed that the employee confessed to police about her role in the robbery saying she had taken the house keys and remote which she then gave to her boyfriend. Her boyfriend then hired two other men to help out with the robbery. “The suspect had intimate knowledge of the household and also knew that the elderly woman was alone at home. The suspects on the day used the remote and house keys to gain access to the premises and then held the elderly woman up and forced her to open the safe,” said the source. A family spokesman said they were grateful to Crime Intelligence for their hard work which led to the recovery of the stolen goods and arrests.