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Manhunt launched for armed jewellery robbers

RUIMSIG - Robbers make way with R3 million worth of jewellery from Craddlestone Mall.

Gauteng Police are on the lookout for about 10 robbers who allegedly stole jewellery at Cradlestone Mall shortly after the shop opened.

According to police spokesperson Tsekiso Mofokeng, two robbers entered the shop and pointed guns at the staff, ordering them to the floor.

“As they were lying down, more suspects came in and then snatched the jewellery,” he said.

Mofokeng added that two shots were fired as the men fled the store to their getaway vehicles, but no one was injured.

The alleged robbers drove off in a Mercedes-Benz and a BMW.

It is also reported that the robbers escaped by smashing through a boom gate in their BMW X5.

Mofokeng appealed to the public to assist police with finding the suspects as no arrests have yet been made.

“Anyone with information can just speak to their nearest police station or call 08600 10111,” Mofokeng said.

Mall manager Cara Grobler said the men smashed through the thick glass of display cases to access the jewellery.

“They left the mall as quickly as they entered and the entire incident was over in a matter of minutes,” Grobler explained.

She said that employees received counselling.

“We would like to assure Cradlestone Mall shoppers that their safety is of utmost importance to us,” she added.

According to a source, who asked not to be identified, the men used six cars and made off with jewellery in excess of R3m and cash.

“One of [the cars] was a BMW X5 that was later used to ram the boom gate so they could drive back out,”he said.

Mofokeng could not confirm the value of goods stolen and explained that it will be subject to police investigation. However, he did confirm that a BMW and a Mercedes-Benz were used as getaway vehicles.

ER24 paramedics responded to the scene. They assessed and calmed the shoppers, finding that no one sustained any physical injuries.

Cradlestone Mall was officially opened in November last year and is said to be one of the biggest malls on the West Rand.

The mall boasts more than 200 stores.

It is understood that this was the first major robbery since the opening of the mall.

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