Highgate jewellery shop smashed in by sledgehammer raiders

A gang of sledgehammer-wielding thieves smashed their way into a Highgate jeweller’s on Sunday – causing thousands of pounds’ worth of damage.

Police were alerted at 3.30am to The Village Jeweller in Highgate High Street after the shop’s alarm was triggered by the raid.

Owner Stanley Benson says the gang stole a box of silver rings worth about �1,000 but caused damage to the shop which will cost about �2,000 to repair.

The 73-year-old, who has owned the shop for 28 years, said: “Luckily, they didn’t take too much. I think they panicked when the alarm went off.

“They smashed the window in the door and the gate and stole a box of silver rings. Repairing the damage to the door and gate is going to cost more than the box of rings.”

Witnesses saw three men break into the shop. They made their getaway in a silver BMW car being driven by a woman.

It is not the first time the shop has been targeted by thieves. Mr Benson said that the amount of jewellery stolen over the years could total tens of thousands of pounds.

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He said: “I’ve lost count of how many times the shop has been broken into.

“I really couldn’t tell you – dozens of times. The last time, though, was last year.”

Police are now appealing for witnesses to come forward.

A Camden police spokeswoman said: “Officers were alerted after three men were seen forcing open a metal shutter and front door while a woman waited for them in a car.

“It is believed that on struggling to gain entry the suspects fled in the car, a silver BMW, heading towards Archway Road.

“The suspects are described as wearing dark clothing, with either their hoods up or balaclavas and were about 20 to 30 years old.”

Any one with information is asked to call Camden Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.