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Colchester: Smash and Grab at town centre jewellers
HOODED raiders smashed a jewellery shop window and stole thousands of pounds of rings.
The raid happened between 2.30am and 3am on Tuesday at Ernest Jones in Culver Square, Colchester.
Two crooks smashed one of the front display windows several times before they managed to make a hole big enough to reach in and grab the goods.
The intruder alarm was triggered and CCTV images have captured them fleeing the scene across Culver Square, in the direction of Sir Isaac’s Walk.
One of the thieves’ hoods fell down as he ran away and police are examining the footage.
Around 40 rings, worth £8,000, were stolen and it will cost another £8,000 to replace the specially-reinfored glass window.
Julie Welham, assistant manager, said police were first on the scene around 3am after the intruder alarm went off.
The store’s manager and another sales associate were alerted and arrived there around 4.30am.
She said: “They got here and there was a hole in the window. We can’t say how they have done it.
“It was previously done with the watch window, about five or six months ago, when they took Swiss watches worth £20,000.
“Whether it is the same people, we are not aware, but it seems to be similar in the way it has been done.”
Mrs Welham said she believed the rings were targeted as they were easy to grab hold of quickly and conceal.
“It is little pieces of jewellery they can get hold of, sell on and possibly get rid of them quicker than a watch.
“For something that is a second hand piece which they might not get a lot for, is worth going to jail?” she added.
The shop was able to open as usual on Tuesday but Mrs Welham said: “I think the feeling is it creates a lot of work. We have literally worked all day to try and get the business back in order.
“As much as people try and put a dampener on how it makes us feel, we just think that’s their effort and whether they get rid of the stock and get nothing for it, I don’t know.”
An Essex Police spokesman said: “Officers would like to speak to anyone who may have information about the break-in, anyone who saw anybody acting suspiciously around the time of the break-in, or if they have been approached by someone offering rings for sale.”
If you can help contact PC Andy Rook on Essex Police 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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