Police hunt luxury jewel thieves
Police are continuing to examine CCTV footage as they try to catch raiders who stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery during a "high value" burglary at a prestigious shopping arcade.
The robbers used sledgehammers to smash open display cases housing the luxury goods at jewellers De Beer and Swiss watchmakers Omega.
Both stores are located in the heavily protected Royal Exchange shopping centre in the City of London. The thieves struck at 10pm on Saturday night when their red BMW pulled up outside the Grade I listed building.
They negotiated one of the huge wrought iron gates that protect each of the four entrances and smashed into display cases to get to the gems. The gang then fled the scene in the BMW.
City of London police are yet to make any arrests in connection with the raid. Senior Investigating Officer, Det Ch Insp Steven Chandler, of the City of London Police Major Investigations Team, said: "We are currently following a number of lines of inquiry and I can reassure the public that every effort is and will be directed to bringing those responsible to justice.
"We need the assistance of the public in tracing the car used in the offence, the criminals involved and the items stolen."
The Royal Exchange, built in 1565, is located between Threadneedle Street and Cornhill and boasts more than 30 luxury stores.
A security guard at the centre, who did not want to be named, said: "We've been told that at about 10pm last night a BMW turned up at the back entrance, four men jumped out and managed to get inside the building somehow.
"At the moment we don't know how much has been taken, but with the price of some of the stuff inside these shops just a few items could easily run up to a very, very large amount. It's looking as though whoever has done this has been targeting the shops for a long time."