Four charged over foiled watch shop raid

Four men have been charged following a thwarted watch shop raid in London which left a police officer seriously injured, Scotland Yard said.

A 43-year-old detective constable was hit by a moped being ridden by one of the suspects as they tried to flee the scene in the West End on Wednesday.

An axe, knives and the stolen jewellery were all recovered at the scene, at the Chronext shop in Piccadilly.

A smashed cabinet in the Chronext shop
(Thomas Hornall/PA)

The suspects - 25-year-olds Charlie Kavanagh and Johnny Kyriacou, Stephen Hopkins, 29, and James Symes, 30 - are due to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on Friday.

Kavanagh, of Hedingham Close, Islington, was charged with conspiracy to rob and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Hopkins, whose address is unknown, was charged with conspiracy to rob and malicious wounding.

Symes, of no fixed address, and Kyriacou - whose address is also unknown - were both charged with conspiracy to rob.

Chronext shop
(Muthusamy velu/PA)

Three other officers were hurt in the Wednesday morning raid - two suffered minor injuries and one needed hospital treatment for a cut, the Metropolitan Police said.

Chronext chief executive Philipp Man, 25, flew in from Zurich after the attack and said it had resulted in around £500,000 of damage.

He said: "We have two Israelis and a Colombian on staff so they are accustomed to extraordinary situations. We have ramped up all security in the past month, particularly in Germany and Switzerland.

"You could see that these were not professionals. A machete is pretty medieval."

The gang smashed the windows of the store and tried to make off on mopeds with valuable watches, but were stopped in their tracks as Scotland Yard's team were lying in wait after getting a tip-off, the Met said.

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