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Armed robbers raid Blackburn jewellers
GUNMEN burst into a town centre jewellery shop before making off with several thousands of pounds of designer jewellery and Rolex watches.
One of the robbers smashed display cabinets with hammers, while the other threatened workers with what police believe was a black handgun.
They grabbed the high-value items from the front window of Humberstones Jewellers, in King William Street, Blackburn, before running off in different directions.
The display contained a range of men’s watches each costing between £3,990 and £7,990.
Police said no shots were fired.
As the thieves made their escape, the police helicopter was sent out to look for them.
Last night, no arrests had been made.
It is understood there were four people working in the shop at the time of the robbery.
An investigation has been launched and detectives were interviewing shop workers and other witnesses yesterday evening.
CCTV footage of the attack, which happened at around 3pm yesterday, was also reviewed.
Det Insp Mark Vaughton, from Lancashire Police’s Eastern Division CID, appealed for witnesses.
He said: “Fortunately, no-one was injured but understandably everyone involved has been left extremely shaken by what can only be described as a terrifying ordeal.
“An investigation is underway and I would appeal to anybody that may have witnessed either the robbery itself or the offenders leaving the scene to contact police immediately.
“I would also appeal to anyone who may have seen anybody acting suspiciously in the area, not only yesterday afternoon, but in the days leading up to the robbery to come forward and speak with police.
“Any piece of information, no matter how small, could be crucial to the investigation so please come forward if you think you can help.”
It is the third time the shop has been targeted since 2004, along with two further incidents at its sister shop in Barrowford in 2009 and 2007.
Nearby shop owners said they had been unaware the incident had taken place until police arrived at the scene, which was then cordoned off.
Rob Eland, shop worker at Totally Wicked said: “We didn’t see anything so the first thing I knew about it was when the police sniffer dog appeared in the alley opposite.
“I’m really worried because if one shop can be targeted then who’s to say that they won’t come back and do another?
“It seems planned because of how quick it was and they targeted a specific part of the shop.”
Pub drinker Steve Haworth said: “It’s surprising for it to happen in broad daylight and for no-one in the pub to see anything and I’m just glad I wasn’t there at the time.”
Sharon McGurty, owner of the Lounge on Northgate said: “I was surprised my son didn’t see anything because he was in and out of the shop all afternoon.”
However two shop workers from Marsden Building Society, who did not wish to be named, said they had been left feeling uneasy after two men were seen hanging around the street half an hour before the incident.
They said: “We did think that it was odd that two men were hanging around who then disappeared as soon as the incident had taken place and they made us feel really uneasy.”
Anyone with any information should call Lancashire Police on 101.
People with information can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.
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