Precious time: Cape Quarter jewel heist over in 90 seconds

2019-08-01 14:55

A robbery at a trendy Cape Town jeweller was over in 90 seconds thanks to the calmness of staff and an increasingly digitised inventory, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Four men, one armed with a firearm and others with hammers, entered Uwe Koetter's Cape Quarter jewellery store at around 10:00 on Wednesday, News24 reported.

"Over the past three years, Uwe Koetter has progressively been moving towards digitising our business and will carry less stock as a result," Uwe Koetter Jewellers said.

"The risk of such incidents will thus become less."

The company has developed a digital library of products, and has invested in 3D scanning, 3D printing, Computer Aided Design (CAD), 360-degree photography and prototypes to make a physical inventory less important.

The hit started at 10:16 on Wednesday, with a man in a maroon tracksuit and baseball cap pulling a pistol from his jacket and forcing a concierge to open the doors for three more people.

READ: Man swallows diamonds during Hawks raid, held in hospital until he pooped them out

They smashed several showcases containing a wide range of jewellery, but quick-thinking staff had already hit the panic button.

Pressed for time, the robbers smashed the doors to get out, and the entire robbery was over in 90 seconds.

The company prides itself on its individually designed "bespoke" pieces, ranging from "the extravagant" to the "everyday", and includes royalty and statespeople among its clients who seek something unique from a collection that includes original "architectural" and "botanical" pieces.

The store management praised the staff, saying they were "incredibly proud" of the calm way they had handled the situation, and said losses were "minimal" due to the digitised approach to showcasing their creations.

"It is due to this that the losses are minimal and that no one was injured."

Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said the men also had hammers, and used a white Ford Fiesta as their getaway car.

On July 5, a gang of robbers hit the Diamond Exchange, not far from the Cape Quarter, and opposite the high security Cape Town International Convention Centre.

They sped away in the luxury of a white Mercedes-Benz C Class.

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Read more on:    cape town  |  crime  |  robberies

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