London

Four men arrested over £380,000 De Beers raid

A CCTV still from the raid
Image caption A gang used sledgehammers to smash two glass doors and took items from the shop's windows

Four men have been arrested in connection with a smash-and-grab raid at one of London's most upmarket jewellery stores.

Raiders smashed windows at De Beers in the Royal Exchange shopping centre in the City of London on 14 August.

Gems and watches worth £380,000 were taken in the theft.

Four men, aged 24, 26, 30 and 34, had been arrested by police over the past week. They have all been released on bail.

A gang smashed their way inside the Grade I-listed Royal Exchange, just yards from the Bank of England.

Faces hidden

Driving a stolen red BMW, the men used bolt cutters to snap open a chain and padlock holding together wrought iron gates to the shopping arcade.

Once inside, they used sledgehammers to smash two glass doors and took items from the window displays at the store.

Image caption The Royal Exchange is a prestigious shopping centre within the Square Mile

The men wore hooded tops and balaclavas to disguise their faces during the five-minute raid.

Det Insp Dave Carter, of City of London police, said: "We are appealing to anyone who may have been in the City near the Royal Exchange on 14 August and who recalls anything out of the ordinary or unusual to please report it to us.

"The City is quieter at the weekend, but there are several bars and nightclubs that were open that Saturday night and so someone could have seen something that will help with our investigation."

The Royal Exchange is located between Threadneedle Street and Cornhill and boasts more than 30 luxury stores, including Gucci, Hermes and Cartier.

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