Jun 9 2013
Burqa Bandit crimes are on the rise around the world. Expect more: Axe and sledgehammer-wielding burka gang targeted London’s Selfridge’s in a daring smash and grab raid where they made off with £1 million in designer watches.
UK Daily Mail (h/t Susan K) Armed raiders who dressed in burkas to target Selfridges in central London made off with £1million worth of luxury watches, police said today. The six-strong gang used the Muslim religious dress to disguise themselves and the tools they were carrying during Thursday evening’s raid, police said. Police today charged a 19-year-old man with offenses in relation to the daring robbery, while another suspect remains in hospital.
Video footage of the raid taken by an eyewitness shows how the axe and sledge hammer-wielding group waited for a pre-arranged moment to smash glass cabinets and stuff holdalls with watches. The Metropolitan Police today said the value of the stolen goods was as much as £1million.
Stunned witnesses in Oxford Street, in the capital’s busiest shopping district, watched as the gang met accomplices outside in getaway vehicles believed to be a moped, two motorbikes and a black BMW estate.
Two suspects were arrested after falling off a moped when it crashed nearby and members of the public stopped them from leaving. Scotland Yard today said officers recovered one holdall at the scene containing 41 watches.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Noyes, from the Flying Squad, said: ‘This was a brazen attack that was clearly well planned and well thought through. ‘We have recovered a number of items from the scene, as well as the gang’s vehicles they used in their escape and we are carrying out a full forensic examination.
‘Extra officers are in the Oxford Street area and our investigation is moving quickly with a number of lines of enquiry. “We still want to hear from anyone who saw the robbery, who may have seen the vehicles involved in the time running up to or after the robbery or who think they may know who has been involved.” (And if burqas had been banned, somebody might have been able to see their faces)