Two sledgehammer-wielding raiders stormed into an upmarket jewellers and stole £200,000 in watches – including a rare £50,000 Rolex.
The men, both wearing crash helmets, were filmed on CCTV bursting into the store in Manchester city centre just before 4.30pm on Thursday 15th January 2015.
The thieves used a long-handled sledgehammer to smash their way into the shop, with the tool then being employed to shatter the display case.
Once inside the boutique, The Cheshire Watch Company, the men let off a smoke bomb, which sent clouds billowing from the shop and caused staff to become disorientated.
While one smashed the counter displays, grabbing eight men’s watches including three Rolexes and five Cartiers – the other held the doors open.
THE £200,000 WATCH HAUL
After breaking into the The Cheshire Watch Company, thieves escaped with eight watches worth a staggering £200,000.
Here are their models:
1. Cartier Ballon Bleu: £15,900
2. Cartier Santos: £3,250
3. Cartier Tank: £11,100,
4. Cartier Tank Ang: £23,800
5. Cartier Tortue: £10,500
6. Rolex 116505: £25,100,
7. Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi Bezel: £26,160
8. Rolex GMT Master II: £47,900
No customers were inside at the time and the pair ran back into the street after the raid and escaped on a Honda NSS 300 moped.
The bike was later found abandoned in the car park of the Grosvenor Casino on Ramsgate Street.
Having trawled through CCTV images provided by the casino, police have now issued the picture of a man they wish to question in connection with the robbery.
He is described as casino pa natet white, around 5ft 10in tall, slim build and dark brown hair.
He was wearing a blue puffer jacket with a hood and red logo, grey jeans and white trainers.
Police originally said 25 watches were snatched from the boutique on King Street West, but bosses have now confirmed the figure to be eight, together worth a whopping £200,000.
The most expensive is the Rolex GMT Master II and is worth £47,900, with diamonds and sapphires embedded in its face and rim.
All but one of the watches are solid gold
Bosses have now released the serial numbers, descriptions and photographs of all the stolen timepieces as part of a fresh appeal – and a ‘large reward’ remains on offer.
The same boutique was targeted by robbers in September 2013 but they left empty-handed after smashing through the main window. The store was due to open again today.
A company spokesman said: ‘We are appealing for anyone with any information about the watches to contact police as soon as possible.’