Police probe attempted robbery of well-known Joburg jewellery store, appeal to the public for info

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Criminals have failed in a bid to rob a jewellery store.
Criminals have failed in a bid to rob a jewellery store.
Duncan Alfreds, News24
  • Armed would-be robbers pounced on a well-known Joburg jewellery store but were unable to penetrate its security system.
  • An eyewitness told News24 two armed robbers fled and jumped into a getaway vehicle which sped off. 
  • Police have appealed to the public for more information.

Gauteng police are investigating the attempted robbery of a well-known jewellery store in Johannesburg's Melrose Arch and have appealed to the public for more information.

The group of would-be robbers pounced on the store, Elegance, on Monday, according to police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele.

The incident occurred at about 11:00 but the suspects were unable to penetrate the store's state-of-art security system, according to the store's management.

He said no one was injured during the attempted robbery but that someone was injured outside the precinct during a shootout between a security company and the assailants.

Makhubele added that the suspects drove off in two vehicles - an Audi Q7 and a Ford Ranger - and when security guards tried to stop them, a shootout ensued.

A motorist who was driving in the area was wounded.

In a statement to News24, Elegance said: "The safety and comfort of our staff and clients remain of utmost importance to us. The country's unacceptably high levels of crime have been exacerbated by the recent downturn in the economy. We deeply regret the injury of an innocent bystander and remain in touch with the family. Above all, we remain committed to the fight against crime and the safety of our staff and clientele."  

Makhubele confirmed that nothing was taken from the store.

According to an eyewitness, whom News24 is not naming for safety reasons, no alarms or gunshots went off during the attempted robbery.

WATCH | Jewellery store robbed in Bryanston

The eyewitness, who was having breakfast at the precinct, not far from the jewellery store, said two men who tucked pistols into their pants, ran from the jewellery store and got into a getaway vehicle.  The car then sped off.

"Not even five seconds later, we heard a security van with screeching tyres come around the corner, giving chase to the getaway car, which is why we presume they (robbers) were caught so close to the outside of Melrose," he said.

Shortly after that, Melrose Arch was flooded with security and staff came out, the eyewitness added.

"The store was [full of smoke] for about 30 minutes," he said. He presumed that it was caused by the anti-theft alarm or activation of the panic button.

"Outside Melrose Arch was a massive commotion with plenty private security guards and medical vans, [I was] unable to see anything more than...  broken glass and some used medical equipment, so [I am] unsure what had happened there."

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