By  on August 11, 2009

LONDON — Armed robbers seized jewelry valued at $65 million when they raided Graff’s New Bond Street boutique Thursday afternoon, London’s Metropolitan Police said Tuesday.

Police described the heist as “a well planned robbery,” with 43 items of jewelry including rings, bracelets, necklaces and watches taken from the store. A police spokesman said Tuesday the raid is “one of the biggest” jewel robberies in British history.

The two male robbers, of whom police have released CCTV footage, walked into the boutique at 4:40 p.m. Thursday and threatened staff with handguns. They then brought a female staff member outside the jeweler and fired a shot on the street, but no one was injured.

The robbers subsequently fled New Bond Street in a blue BMW, before abandoning the car on nearby Dover Street, firing another shot and making off in a silver Mercedes. Some of the suspects then got into a third vehicle in Mayfair. “These men are extremely dangerous and fired at least two shots in busy London streets as they made their getaway,” said detective chief inspector Pam Mace of London’s Flying Squad, which investigates armed crime.

Police said that among the pieces of jewelry taken were a platinum and white marquise diamond ring with pear shaped diamond shoulders, a Chronograff men’s watch and a multicolored and white pear shape, round and cushion cut yellow diamond flower necklace.

Last week wasn’t the first time Graff has been targeted by armed gangs. In 2003, 23 million pounds, or $38 million, worth of jewelry was stolen from the same Graff boutique. Two men, one from Serbia and another from Montenegro, were convicted and jailed for the robbery in 2004, but only $4.9 million worth of the stolen jewelry was recovered.

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