Mount Nelson robbery: Hotel dismisses claim that jewellery store makes it a target

The Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town. (Photo: Gallo Images / The Times / Shelley Christians)
The Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town. (Photo: Gallo Images / The Times / Shelley Christians)

The Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town has dismissed claims its on-site jewellery store has made it a target for robberies, according to a report.

Belmond, the global group that owns the hotel, told the Cape Argus it wanted to know where the claims stemmed from, while at the same time saying it was not its policy to comment on rumours or speculation.

It is understood that since the jewellery store opened its doors at the hotel in 2012, there had been one other criminal incident a few years ago.

The hotel apparently did a full security review at the time.

On Tuesday night, armed men entered the hotel and robbed guests and employees of their personal belongings, News24 reported.

Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said 15 men driving two vehicles had threatened and pointed a firearm at the security guard manning the front access control point.

He was robbed of his baton and hand radio. Two of the armed men remained with him inside the guard room.

The two vehicles the men were travelling in - a white Toyota Corolla and VW Polo - entered the premises, proceeded to the reception area and seven men emerged, entering the hotel foyer.

"They pointed firearms at staff members and guests and robbed them of their personal belongings," said Van Wyk.

The men then ransacked the foyer, breaking the glass cabinet display windows with hammers, while also removing jewellery and making off with an undisclosed amount of money from the hotel's cash register.

No one was injured and no arrests have been made.

Operations at the hotel were continuing as normal.

A provincial economic development and tourism official, Rashid Toefy, told EWN the department was moving toward a dedicated security force in Cape Town, which would focus on tourism hot spots such as the hotel.

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