Armed robbers on motorbikes raid Brent Cross jeweller

The robbers on motorbikes at Brent Cross
Image caption Six people on three bikes rode through the centre

Robbers armed with axes and bats rode motorbikes into an indoor shopping centre in north London and raided a jewellery store.

Six people on three bikes targeted Fraser Hart in Brent Cross Shopping Centre at 10:15 GMT.

The pillion passengers got off the bikes and smashed the windows, leaving with jewellery. BBC London understands the haul was worth up to £2m.

The bikes were found abandoned near a golf course.

'Locked in'

No-one was injured in the raid but an elderly man was treated for shock at the scene.

The raid happened 15 minutes after the centre opened to shoppers for the day.

Image caption Three pillion passengers ran to the jewellery store and broke the windows

Eyewitness Claire Smalley said: "We looked out and we saw six men, two on each bike, pull up outside Fraser Hart and then they pulled out an axe and they were getting into Fraser Hart and telling everyone to stay back."

Sue Bangs from Hertfordshire, who was in John Lewis at the time, said: "It was very frightening. I could not believe it was happening.

"All the shops suddenly put down their shutters and we were locked in for a while. My heart was pounding."

Witnesses said the robbers appeared to have targeted Cartier and Rolex watches in the shop along with some other jewellery. The area of the shop that was targeted has been sealed off.

Flying squad detectives have taken over the investigation, Scotland Yard said.

Police believe the bikes pulled up at the entrance next to New Look where the pillion passengers got off and ran towards the ground-floor jewellers and broke the display windows.

They then ran back to the waiting motorbikes and fled towards Hendon Central.

Police said they found the bikes about 15 minutes later on Ashley Walk in Mill Hill.

The suspects were dressed in dark clothing and were wearing crash helmets with the visors down.

Det Supt Mark Strugnell said: "We are appealing to anyone who may have seen the sequence of events at the shopping centre, which had only just opened its doors to its first shoppers only moments before, and to anyone who may have seen the three motorbikes being driven from Brent Cross to Mill Hill."

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