Duo bust for robbery of two Phoenix jewellery stores which bystanders also looted
Two men allegedly linked to the robbery of two jewellery stores at a Phoenix mall on Monday have been nabbed by the police.
Police spokesperson Brig Jay Naicker said the duo were arrested in KwaMashu in a joint operation with private security companies.
The men were part of an armed gang who stormed Sterns and Mayuri's at the Phoenix Plaza, north of Durban. A shoot-out ensued with police on the Phoenix highway before they made their escape.
After the robberies, community members looted the two stores and threatened traumatised staff.
Provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi condemned the incidents, saying at the time, “we will spare no effort in ensuring that those bystanders who made themselves criminals by robbing both stores themselves, are also investigated fully for their actions.
“Communities are again warned that they become criminals when they help themselves to property at crime scenes.”
Naicker said on Thursday that during a search “various items of jewellery, two firearms, 10 rounds of ammunition and a speed point machine were found in the suspects' possession.
“In a follow-up operation, two vehicles believed to have been used during the robberies were seized by police.”
He said the men, aged 21 and 26, have been charged with two counts of robbery, as well as unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition charges. They are expected to appear in court soon.
“Investigations are ongoing and more arrests can be expected,” said Naicker.