While police have arrested five men last week, believed to be involved in the robbery at the Mount Nelson Hotel, in Orange Street, they still have their work cut out for them as they try to link the suspects to other robberies which took place in the city centre.
On Tuesday July 16, 15 gunmen wearing balaclavas in two cars – a white Toyota and a VW Polo – entered the hotel after threatening the security guard at the front gate and removing his baton.
Staff and guests at the hotel were held at gunpoint, and the men stole jewellery and money before fleeing in the same cars.
Cape Town Central police spokesperson, Captain Ezra October, told the CapeTowner that on Wednesday morning, a VW Polo and an Avanza had pulled over in Claremont the day after the robbery.
He said the cars’ registration numbers had been flagged by licence plate recognition cameras in Claremont, and subsequently found to not match the cars.
Colonel Maree Louw from Claremont police said the vehicles had been flagged while driving around Cavendish Square.
“The suspects sped off in their vehicles and the police gave chase,” said Colonel Louw.
She said the Toyota Avanza was stopped and four men were arrested while another man in a VW Polo stopped his vehicle and tried to run.
“He also threw the firearm he had away but he was caught by police and the firearm was retrieved,” she said.
“Police tested the Avanza registration number and it came out that it was a false number plate belonging to a stolen Toyota Conquest that was used in several robbery cases at several places,” said Colonel Louw.
A crowbar, two 10-pound hammers, a firearm and a gas gun. which resembles a 9mm firearm. were found in the Toyota Avanza.
Grassy Park police spokesperson Captain Wynita Kleinschmidt said after a store was robbed in Pelican Park on Tuesday July 16, they received the news that the vehicles matching the description of those used in the robbery had been been found in Claremont.
The men in the VW polo managed to escape, however, one man jumped out with a firearm, but was arrested.