LONDON — Members of the public are responsible for the arrests that have been made of two of the thieves responsible for the smash-and-grab robbery at Selfridges’ flagship store in London on Thursday night.
London police confirmed over the weekend that an estimated 1 million pounds, or $1.56 million, worth of watches was stolen in the raid.
According to the Metropolitan Police, shortly before 8:30 p.m. — the store closes at 9 p.m. on Thursdays — six men entered the store wearing burkas and used axes to smash cabinets containing watches and jewelry.
Some were carrying handbags as a part of their disguise. They escaped on mopeds ridden by accomplices. One of the getaway bikes skidded and fell while it was turning a corner near London’s Charlotte Street, less than a mile away from the department store. A bag is said to have fallen open to show the stolen watches and jewelry. The driver is alleged to have shouted for people to help his “wife” before running away from the scene. A local pizza restaurant waiter pursued the criminal and brought him to the ground, where he sat on him, with a local pub bar tender, withstanding attempts at biting, until the police arrived.
The pillion rider, who had been one of the men to rob the store, was injured and is in hospital, thought to have suffered a broken leg. The driver is being questioned by the police. Two further mopeds, believed to have been used for the getaway, have been recovered by police in the Paddington area of London.
A source at Selfridges said that it was business as usual for them, and a lot of the stock has been recovered already, presumably at the scene of the moped crash.
The store said on its Twitter feed that no one was injured and that police are investigating the incident. “We just want to let you know that everyone is safe and the police are investigating. We will update you once we have more information,” the store said.
In late September, the watch concession at Selfridges in Manchester was the target of masked thieves, who stole 500,000 pounds, or $810,000, worth of luxury watches in 80 seconds.