Police confiscate uncut gemstones, watches from pawn shops

Police found uncut gemstones at a pawn shop in Long Street.

A man was arrested at a pawn shop in Long Street on Monday, July 26, after police went looking for a stolen watch, and found 544 uncut gemstones, among other presumably stolen jewellery, to the estimated value of R8 million.

Cape Town Central police spokesperson Captain Ezra October said information was received about the stolen watch, and members attached to the SAPS Flying Squad went to investigate – but they found more than just the watch at the shop.

Police confiscated 51 watches from the pawn shop in Long Street.

When they further searched the premises, police found another 51 expensive watches.

“The members continue to search the premises and found a lot of presumed uncut diamonds and different coloured gemstones. A total in 544 gemstones were seized. The estimated value of all items that were confiscated are estimated at R8 000 000.”

The man was detained at Cape Town Central police station on charges of stolen property.

Later that same day, the owner of another pawn shop in Hout Street was arrested.

Captain October said the owner of the pawn shop in Long Street said that the owner of the pawn shop in Hout Street took the items for him to keep.

When the police searched the premises, officers found loose diamonds, a measuring instrument and a foreign coin. “No records could be produced nor were any entries made in the official second-hand dealers register,” said Captain October.

The owner was arrested and charged under the Second-hand Goods Act.