Hunt for thieves who stole jewellery in Whitechapel armed robbery
PUBLISHED: 07:37 08 August 2014 | UPDATED: 07:37 08 August 2014
Detectives investigating the armed robbery of a Whitechapel shop have released images of jewellery similar to that stolen in a bid to find the thieves.
The Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad believes the suspects may have tried to pawn the south Asian-style jewellery, which was taken in a smash and grab at UKAY on Whitechapel Road on Wednesday, May 21.
The items all have a unique hallmark featuring a crown, the number 916, a fox’s head and the letter F, and ppolice are asking anyone who has recently been sold or approached with jewellery with that mark to come forward with information.
Four people on two mopeds pulled up outside the shop at around 9.40am and two of them ran into the front half of the shop, brandishing hammers and knives as they ran to the jewellery department which was separated by a door at the back of the store.
An employee in his 40s tried to stop the pair but one of them punched him in the face.
They kicked in the door to the jewellery department where three staff members were laying out trays of stock.
The suspects then smashed the cabinets and grabbed several trays of jewellery before fleeing on the mopeds towards Stepney Green.
One of the mopeds is described as dark, possibly black, and the other as white or cream.
The four suspects, believed to all be men, are described as wearing dark clothing and dark motorcycle helmets with visors.
Det Sgt Mike Wilkes said: “The whole incident only lasted about 30 seconds, but in that time a man was assaulted, a number of other staff were threatened with knives, and jewellery worth thousand of pounds was stolen.
“There is a good chance that this group has sold or is planning to sell the jewellery, so we’re asking all pawnbrokers and jewellery dealers to check South Asian jewellery they are presented with for the UKAY hallmark, even if you are not suspicious of the person selling the items.
“It may be that they have unwittingly acquired the items and can help us trace these robbers.”
If you have information, call the Flying Squad on 020 8345 4226 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.