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Choosy watch thieves in £500k Selfridges smash and grab

by Michael Weare
21 September, 2012
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About the author

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

Selfridges Manchester watch robbery in action

 In an old school smash and grab raid, three masked men armed with an axe and crowbars broke open cabinets in The Watch Gallery at Selfridges in Manchester on Wednesday evening and escaped with £500,000 worth of luxury watches in just 80 seconds.

The raid took place at 7.25pm while the store on the city’s Exchange Square was still open. The three men were wearing high visibility clothing and black balaclavas.

Clearly the thieves knew a thing or two about what sells as they stuffed 100 watches into a black Umbro sports bag from brands including Audermars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre Hublot and Cartier. Greater Manchester Police believe the watches to be worth £500,000 in total. Detective Constable Adam Cronshaw added that the gang had been “very particular about the watches they selected”. The gang – their faces hidden by black balaclavas – smashed open display cabinets using an axe and crowbars and stole approximately 100 watches.’

Thieves at The Watch Gallery Selfridges, Manchester

A fourth member of the gang was waiting outside the store in a black Mercedes which sped away after the raid. The car was later found abandoned in Robert Street, Strangeways, a short time later.

From start to finish the raid took just 80 seconds and Cronshaw described it as well planned and executed.

“”I am appealing for anyone who knows who is responsible or has overheard someone talking about this robbery – either before or after it happened – to contact us in absolute confidence. This was a brazen robbery while the store was open and busy with members of the public. The clothing worn appears to be brand new and I am also eager to hear from anyone who knows where they may have been purchased or manufactured. The offenders will, at some point, undoubtedly look to offload these watches and I would urge people to be mindful of this robbery and again if anyone is approached with a view to buying any of these items to please contact us.”

Smash and grab raid

A statement from The Watch Gallery said: “We can confirm that three men stole watches from the Watch Gallery of our Manchester Exchange Square store on Wednesday, 19 September just before 7.30pm. Thankfully, no one was injured. We are currently in full cooperation with the police and their investigation.”

The value of the stolen watches was previously reported by Greater Manchester Police to be worth £1 million but the police have since re-estimated the haul and brought it down to £500,000.

The store is popular with footballers and their WAGS in Manchester and was a first stop for shopping for David Beckham and his wife Victoria when they lived in the town. Beckham would spent thousands in their watch department on his wife and himself.

Michael Weare | Website

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

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