Two criminals were injured on the M25 Curnick Ndlovu Highway near KwaMashu when police opened fire on Sunday morning. SAPS had given chase following a robbery at Phoenix Plaza earlier. A provincial helicopter transported a seriously wounded suspect to hospital while the other was treated on the scene. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng
Durban -  Police have warned of an increase in robberies of jewellery shops or homes keeping large amounts of jewellery.

The warning comes after police on Sunday acted swiftly and apprehended six suspected robbers after a heist at Mayuri's jewellery shop at the Phoenix Plaza.

Two of the suspects were injured when they were shot by police during a high speed chase, while three others remained at large.

Police said nine suspects had entered the shop on Sunday afternoon and assaulted staff before robbing them. 

While police did not disclose the value of the stolen jewellery, a security company estimated it to run into hundreds of thousands of rand. 

The suspects also took an undisclosed amount of cash and wrist watches before fleeing in two getaway vehicles. A high-speed chase ensued after police were alerted.

Gunfire was exchanged on the M25 Curnick Ndlovu Highway freeway near KwaMashu when the suspects realised that the police were closing in.

It is alleged that the suspects were the first to open fire, prompting the police to shoot back.

Two of the suspects were injured during the shootout and one had to be taken to hospital while the other one was attended to by paramedics on the scene.  Cases of attempted murder and business robbery were opened.

Last week the SAPS appealed to home owners to refrain from keeping large amounts of jewellery in their homes.

On Tuesday last week three suspects entered a home in Orient Heights in Pietermaritzburg, forced a door open and threatened the home owner and his family with firearms. A large sum of jewellery was taken from the house and the suspects fled in a getaway vehicle.

In the same week a group of five men reportedly stormed into a Ridge Road home and assaulted the home owner. They proceeded to ransack the home and made off with an undisclosed amount of jewellery. The gang used the homeowner’s vehicle as a getaway car.

The Mercury