Hunt still on for Oveport jewellery store gang
Durban - Police are still searching for a group of men that held up a jewellery store at the Atrium shopping mall in Overport, Durban.
It was reported that four men entered and exited the Atrium from the Peter Mokaba(Ridge)Road lower level on Thursday.
They walked into the jewellery store and held up staff at Shah Jewellers.
They took an undisclosed amount of cash and jewellery.
While the men were leaving one of them wielding a rifle let off several shots in an attempt to scare off shoppers.
In the pandemonium, the robbers fled. None of the shoppers were reported to have been injured.
It was reported that they had gotten into a white Polo and fled towards Morningside. Police found the Polo parked on the verge in Fyfe Road nearly, 3 km away, in Morningside with no occupants inside. The vehicle also had a set of false number plates.
Police reports state that the car was stolen from the Durban Beachfront on Thursday morning.
The ricocheting bullets caused several windows to shattered at the Peter Mokaba Road exit. Customers and staff in most of the stores took cover at the back of the store when the shots rang out. Customers at a restaurant also fled from the tables.
“The bangs were loud. We were scared. People were running everywhere. We left our cash till points and ran into the back of the shop. I saw people sitting down on the floor of the shop not knowing what to expect. It was frightening,” a staff member at of the stores said.
Another shopper, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was on the escalator when she heard the loud bangs.
"After a few bangs I realized it was a gun going off. I grabbed onto the person next to me in shock. We crawled into a shop nearby and took cover,"she said.
Staff employed in businesses in the office tower above the mall said they heard the echo from the bangs and initially thought there was a motor vehicle collision on Peter Mokaba Road.
"When we peered out of the window overlooking the roads we saw people running. A car sped off at high speed but we were not aware that it was the robbers. When we got downstairs the place was chaotic,"she said
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said Berea police station have opened a case of business robbery.
"We can confirm a shooting took place at 13:47, where a group of armed suspects entered the business premises and held up the employees. At gunpoint they took jewellery and fled the scene in their getaway vehicle. The vehicle was later found abandoned,"Mbele said.