Gqeberha police made a breakthrough in a brazen R1 million jewellery heist on Wednesday.
Police said it is alleged that 10 suspects entered the jewellery store in a mall in Sherwood.
“The staff were pointed with firearms and jewellery estimated to be worth R1 million was taken. No one was injured during the incident,” said provincial police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu.
Naidu said that through “brilliant” crime intelligence in the Eastern Cape, it was established that the suspects were heading for Gauteng.
“The two vehicles involved in the robbery that were heading towards Craddock were identified through the intelligence network.”
Naidu said that just before 10pm, a white VW Polo was stopped about 10 kilometres before Cradock.
“Five males were arrested, and two firearms were recovered. Shortly after, a maroon VW Polo was also stopped, and a further five males were arrested.”
Naidu said two more firearms were confiscated and the stolen jewellery recovered.
“The 10 suspects are detained on charges of illegal possession of firearms and possession of suspected stolen property.”
She said detectives are busy investigating their involvement in the jewellery heist.
“Additional charges may be added as the investigation continues.”
The suspects, aged between 24 and 37, are expected to appear in the Cradock Magistrate’s Court soon.
“Crime Intelligence Eastern Cape confirms that the arrested suspects are part of a syndicate linked to robberies that took place in Gauteng, the North West, and other crimes in KwaZulu-Natal,” Naidu said.
Reacting to the arrests, Eastern Cape police commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene said: “Criminals are warned that the long arm of the law reaches far and wide. There is no hiding place, no sanctuary for those who choose a path of crime.”