Armed with axes and guns, robbers strike Hemingway’s yet again!
By Mihle Tolobisa
Another jewellery store, Dennis Collins Jewellers was robbed with guns and axes at the Hemingway’s Mall’s first floor a few hours ago (Wednesday morning at around 11:30am) forcing surrounding shops to close down in fear of being targeted or customers being hit by stray bullets.
“It appears as if one of the suspects was injured because there was blood in the getaway vehicle. There have been no reports of injuries of staff members,” commented a policeman at the scene.
The glass window of the jewellery store was smashed with an axe and jewellery was taken from the outside. The area has been closed off and customers are not allowed to go through as the police continue their investigation.
Mall manager Reinette Van Tonder confirmed the robbery by two men, with an axe and another with a gun.
“Our security personnel was held at gunpoint whilst another perpetrator smashed through the shopfront glass and took an undisclosed amount of jewellery. No shots were fired inside the mall and no staff member, tenants or shopper was injured,” she said.
Van Tonder added that the police engaged the perpetrators on the outside parking perimeter. However, no arrests have been made yet.
On the scene, a business owner told Rising Sun she was on her way out of the mall when she saw males carrying axes. During the chaos, some of the cleaning staff were talking among themselves, saying they would never work at a jeweler shop since it appears to always be a target for robbers.
In the meantime, the security company, Fidelity has come under fire as this robbery happens only three months after Cellucity, Side Step and Multiserv were robbed by six-gun men who stole stock worth hundreds of thousands at the same Mall.
The security guards on scene refused to comment about what they witnessed. Captain Nkosikho Mzuku, East London police spokesperson said they needed time to collect information before they can release a statement.
“The safety of our shoppers and tenants remains our highest priority. We will continue to work with our contracted independent security advisors and the SAPS on measures to deter similar occurrences,” said Van Tonder.
However, residents question the Mall Management as to what measures are they taking with the security company as in the past year there has been a spate of robberies in the Mall.
This is a developing story.