LIBERTY Midlands Mall was rocked yesterday after an armed robbery took place at Mayuris Jewellers just after 9am. The men allegedly held up staff at gunpoint before ransacking the store and escaping with jewellery and cash.An eyewitness who spoke to Maritzburg Fever said that when he went to open his shop, which is next to Mayuris, he saw a “short man” walking past with a hooded top and a mask on. He said he looked suspicious and when he went to check what was happening he saw another taller man walking into the store as well. “A third man then followed them into the store and we went out to check what was happening. “We stood across from the shop [Mayuris] and saw that the men were emptying jewellery into a trolley while the shop assistants were in the store. “We ran back to our shop and I chased the other employees to the back of our shop shouting for them to get out of sight. “As I turned I saw the tall man walking past with a huge gun in his hand and he looked at me as he walked past, staring me in the eye. “All of them exited the store at the nearby exit. We looked through the back door of our shop to see where they went and we saw them jump into a white Audi and leave,” he said. Other eyewitnesses at the kiosk outside Mayuris said they saw what was happening and that the men were armed, but were too afraid to get involved and looked in the opposite direction to avoid eye contact. “They [the men] were in and out in about five minutes. It was very quick,” he said. Other employees at the mall were questioning how the men had gained access to the back parking at the mall where staff parked and delivery vehicles enter the premises. It was unclear whether the alleged robbers had gained access to the taxi entrance or to the staff parking at the back of the centre. The public access to that side of the mall was recently closed when the third phase of the mall upgrade began about a month ago. “The only way we can get into that parking is if we have a ticket, which is like an access card. If we don’t we have to buzz the operator who has access to a camera and explain who we are and why we want access. They then let us in. There is also a security guard stationed at the boom gate usually,” said a mall employee. SD Pather Jewellers opposite Mayuris closed at the time of investigations. Other shops at the mall, including the ones adjacent to the store, were operating as normal and shoppers continued to enter the mall. The Audi used as the alleged getaway vehicle was recovered in the undercover parking lot at Cascades Shopping Centre a few hours after the incident. At the time of the incident reporters were unable to get into the store to get comment from store management. Mall management did not comment to reporters at the scene and comment from Liberty Midlands Mall was unavailable at the time of going to print.