Robbers were former guests of wine estate

2017-05-22 22:24
One of the items said to have been stolen. (Netwerk24)

One of the items said to have been stolen. (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - A group of armed robbers had apparently visited a wine estate outside Stellenbosch as guests for several months, before striking on Sunday.

The armed robbery at the Delaire Graff estate on the Helshoogte road outside Stellenbosch was carried out with military precision, a reliable source told Netwerk24 on Monday.  

Three vehicles – a silver Polo, a white Mercedes-Benz and a Bantam bakkie – apparently had arrived at the estate at just after 11:00. It’s suspected that all the vehicles had been stolen.

Ten men armed with AK47s and R5 assault rifles overpowered the two guards at the entrance gate and tied them up.

Three of the robbers kept guard. No one was allowed to enter or leave the estate.

Two well-dressed men walked into the reception area and overpowered the security guards and manager of the jewellery store.

According to sources, shots were fired in the entrance hall of the main building where Delaire Graff’s jewellery store, wine tasting venue, spa and restaurant are.

Several display cabinets in which exclusive jewels were displayed, were smashed.  

According to sources, expensive watches, exclusive necklaces, diamond rings and diamonds were stolen.

Some of the robbers wore stockings over their head and balaclavas. The two who had entered the jewellery store pretending to be guests hadn’t covered their faces.

On Monday it was business as usual at the estate. At the entrance gate, two men made each visitor fill in a visitor’s form. They didn’t want to say anything about Sunday’s incident.

There were expensive cars in the parking lot and tourists were milling about, taking photographs. Others were standing around in the foyer.

None of the guests that Netwerk24 spoke to, knew about the robbery.

The jewellery store was closed, with just a few people cleaning inside. Netwerk24 wasn’t allowed to take pictures.  

Tanja von Arnim, a marketing manager at Delaire Graff, confirmed the incident.

Von Arnim said they were pleased that no-one had been injured. She said the robbery had mostly been unsuccessful.

Police had confirmed the robbery.

The police’s Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said shots were fired to force workers at the jewellery store to open the safe.

According to her, an unknown quantity of jewellery was stolen. No one was injured during the robbery and no arrests have been made.

* A previous version of the article stated that jewellery worth hundreds of millions was stolen. The value of the stolen goods has not yet been determined.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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