Gang steals £1 million of watches from open shop


Selfridges in ManchesterEamonn and James Clarke/Eamonn and James Clarke/EMPICS Entertainment

A gang of men wearing ski masks and high visibility suits stole between £500,000 and £1 million of designer watches from a Manchester shop on Wednesday - while it was open and full of customers.

They walked into a busy branch of Selfridges and left with their haul in 80 seconds. So how did they do it?

The raid

The gang of three men just walked in from the street in the middle of the evening, and headed straight for the designer watches section near the entrance. They used an axe and a crowbar to smash into the cases, and took around 100 watches. Within 80 seconds they left the shop, and were driven away in a Black Mercedes Benz by a fourth member of the gang

The car was found abandoned about a mile away. Detective Constable Adam Cronshaw, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "It was clearly well planned and executed. These men were in and out in less than 80 seconds and were very particular about the watches they selected."

He asked people to be mindful of this theft if they were approached by anyone selling watches - and to call the police. He also noted that the high visibility suits were new, and asked for the public to contact the police if they knew where they had been manufactured or purchased.

He added: "I am appealing for anyone who knows who is responsible or has overhead someone talking about this robbery - either before or after it happened - to contact us in absolute confidence."

The CCTV footage of the robbery has been uploaded to Youtube.

Less success

It's a shocking raid, and so far the gang remains at large. However, not all daring raids go so well for the criminals.

Last week in Temecula, California, a masked gang crashed their BMW through the front of an Apple Store, and helped themselves to gadgets. Unfortunately for the gang, their 4x4 wouldn't reverse back out again through the shutters, so they took several attempts to escape. When they finally got out, their number plate was ripped off and left behind in the store - allowing the police to trace the driver.

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