Leiston raiders linked to other thefts

PUBLISHED: 18:18 06 December 2001 | UPDATED: 10:59 03 March 2010

POLICE hunting smash and grab raiders who escaped with gold jewellery worth about £20,000 from a Suffolk goldsmith's believe the gang may have carried out other thefts.

POLICE hunting smash and grab raiders who escaped with gold jewellery worth about £20,000 from a Suffolk goldsmith's believe the gang may have carried out other thefts.

Detectives said today that they are exploring the possibility that the latest raid in Leiston is linked to others in east Suffolk.

They would not disclose which robberies they are investigating as possible links, but said the crimes had all happened over the past two years.

Three balaclava-clad raiders struck at Jays Jewellers, in High Street, Leiston, shortly after 4.30am on Monday.

They used an empty beer barrel to smash through the security glass and grille at the front of the shop, and then smashed a case containing various items of gold jewellery, and stole other goods from the window display.

Police said the gang got away with an assortment of gold chains and rings before fleeing in a G-reg red-coloured Ford Escort or Nissan-type car.

A police spokeswoman said: "Officers in the case are making progress and are exploring the possibility that this offence may be linked to other incidents in the past two years in the same area.

"Investigations are ongoing and already officers have spoken to a number of witnesses and people with useful information.

"We would reiterate our appeal though for anyone who has useful information to come forward immediately."

Officers are also appealing to people keep a look-out for the stolen jewellery.

"We understand that this jewellery will not be easy to sell in bulk and so individual pieces might be offered for sale. It could also be displayed at places such as car boot sales.

"If anyone is offered jewellery to buy, or sees rings or chains on display and has any suspicions, please let us know so that we can investigate."

Anyone with information should contact DC Chris Hutson at Leiston CID on 01986 835390.

Witnesses said the robbery took just minutes. One man said heard a disturbance and looked out of his window and could see a man in the shop, a man standing outside the shop, and a driver sitting in a red Nissan type vehicle outside.

They grabbed as much jewellery as they could, jumped in the car and sped off up the High Street towards the traffic lights.

Owner John Glennon, who lives at nearby Knodishall, was alerted by an alarm at his house and on the scene within 10 minutes. He believed the men knew what they were looking for and already knew the layout of the shop and that it would be well-stocked for Christmas.

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