Armed raiders attacked a Mansfield town centre store with sledge hammers at lunchtime today (Monday, 6th January) and made off with trays of jewels, eye witnesses told Chad.
The incident happened at around 12.20pm at the Stamp King Jewellers in Market Street, while stunned witnesses watched the raid from the cafe opposite.
The pair pulled up in a silvery blue estate car and started smashing the glass with the hammers, witnesses said.
But the glass was reinforced and frantic staff attempted to remove the trays from the inside before the windows gave in.
The offenders, who both wore white boiler suits and black balaclavas, made off with several trays of valuables and left the pavement littered with broken glass and scattered jewellery.
Kerry Cooper (28) witnessed the raid from Cafe Lucy, in Market Street, and dialled 999.
She said: “They started hitting at the windows with sledge hammers but the glass wouldn’t break and it took them about five minutes to get through to the jewellery.
“The poor staff were inside trying to get the jewels out of the window and at one point they were trying to wrestle the trays away from the robbers.
“There was another man who went and pushed one of them over and another chased their car, but they got away.
“I’m actually quite shocked and I could easily cry. Apart from for four years, I’ve lived in Mansfield all my life and never seen anything like this.”
Another witness said the vehicle made its escape past the Black Swan pub in Albert Street, narrowly missing four cars as it sped the wrong way up a one-way street.
A Nottinghamshire police spokesman said: “The thieves snatched jewellery from the shop window and made off in a grey BMW estate car. It is not thought anyone was injured in the incident.
“Officers have been carrying out extensive enquiries since the incident happened, including searches of the surrounding area and house to house enquiries.
“The Helicopter Unit has also been assisting with the search. No one has yet been arrested.”
PICTURED: Stamp King in Market Street, shortly after the midday robbery.