Stoke & Staffordshire

Thieves steal £400k Breitling watches in Stoke-on-Trent raid

Intu Potteries, Hanley
Image caption The offenders smashed a glass door to get into the Intu Potteries shopping centre in Hanley

Almost £400,000 worth of designer watches were stolen in a raid on a shopping centre, police have revealed.

A haul of Breitling watches, some of which are worth more than £20,000 each, were taken from Beaverbrooks at Intu Potteries centre in Hanley on Thursday, police said.

The centre was closed for several hours after the gang struck at 02:30 GMT on Thursday.

DCI Ricky Fields urged anyone offered watches for sale to come forward.

The stolen goods were worth £389,000.

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"This was very much a pre-planned crime and the offenders were very methodical," he said.

"They were in and out of the centre within minutes.

"My officers are carrying out detailed inquiries, with a focus on trawling through CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras from around the city.

"I'm also keen to hear from anyone who saw suspicious persons and/or activity in and around Beaverbrooks and the shopping centre in the days leading up to the break-in.

"I'd also ask people to be on their guard if they are offered such high value watches at a knockdown price, or come across them in suspicious circumstances."

Last year two people were jailed after a raid on the Beaverbrooks store in November 2014.

Image caption Most shops have reopened

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