May 23 2013 Latest news:
, News Editor
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Masked robbers wield sledgehammers during Upton Park jewel shop raid
A hammer-wielding gang smashed their way into a jewellery shop in Upton Park on Saturday and looted £500,000 worth of gold items including valuable necklaces and pendants.
The heist on Pakeeza Jewellers in Green Street was, according to owner Zahid Khan, all over in a minute.
His four staff had locked themselves in a back office during the raid. “It was very frightening for them. Thank God they were safe. Their lives are more important than what was stolen.”
The major shopping street would have been busy at 11.15pm when the gang struck.
According to Mr Khan one man was at the front door waiting for customers - a woman and her mother - to leave. As the front door opened he wedged a foot against it allowing a second man also with a sledge hammer to batter his way through the inner security glass shield.
As he went around the shop smashing the floor standing cabinets, up to four other gang members, all masked, piled in and loaded stock including necklaces, pendant sets, earrings, bangles and bracelets into bags.
Dramatic pictures of the daylight raid were captured on the shop’s CCTV.
“They were gone in 60 seconds” said Mr Khan on Monday as he was still checking his losses in what was the first raid on his shop in near eight years of trading.
“There were plenty of people around but they were frightened because the man keeping the door open also had a sledge hammer,” he added.