'They smashed the display cabinets. It was quick and sharp'

Thieves hit Uwe Koetter Jewellers on Wednesday morning and took off with an undisclosed amount of valuables at the Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village in Green Point, Cape Town on Wednesday at around 10am.

Recently the Christoff Jewelry Collection was stolen from the Mount Nelson Hotel and there was another robbery at The Diamond Works opposite the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

CEO of the Green Point & Oranje-Kloof City Improvement Districts Marc Truss, and Mayco member for Safety and security in Cape Town Alderman JP Smith, about this spate of robberies.

Truss describes the events saying it appears the robbers were parked in Jarvis Street behind the shopping centre. One of the robbers went ahead and was let into the store by the security guard and upon entering he produced a firearm.

He forced the store to keep the automated doors open and two more of his men then entered armed with hammers.

Similar to the Mount Nelson incident, they smashed the display cabinets. It was quick and sharp and with the automated doors closing, they could not get out so they started to smash the doors.

Marc Truss, CEO - Green Point & Oranje-Kloof City Improvement Districts

Within a short time, the managed to escape and get away in the waiting car, he says.

We have had 7 armed robberies within 10 days in the CBD of Cape Town, three of them jewelry stores...it is definitely a syndicate.

Marc Truss, CEO - Green Point & Oranje-Kloof City Improvement Districts

He says the police can not be relied on to deal with the problem alone and the community needs to be involved.

We need to be eyes and ears. See something out of the ordinary and raise the alarm.

Marc Truss, CEO - Green Point & Oranje-Kloof City Improvement Districts

He says the alarm went off instantly and police arrived within about 10 minutes and private security was on the scene.

JP Smith says the province is deprived of policing resources acknowledges "some territory has been lost to criminals in the CBD and crime has increased over the past two years so we are heading back to where we were in 2000", but he insists he is not worried.

I can confidently guarantee you we are not going to get back to where we were in 2000 because back then we had no City systems and had to rely on Saps. You did not have the cameras, technology and LPR.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security - City of Cape Town

The City has focused on the Cape Flats over the past few years as that was the biggest crime area, but he says as patterns shift, so will its resources and deployment.

We are increasing deployment to respond to the threat because your CBD is your shop-window for your city and is essential for investor confidence and tourism in the city.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security - City of Cape Town

He says the syndicates are using stolen vehicles and casing out the shops before they hit and stores must look at their access control.

Listen to the interviews below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'They smashed the display cabinets. It was quick and sharp'


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