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Watches stolen in brazen robbery at Selfridges
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Audermars Piguet Hublot

Pictures of the types of watches stolen during a daring raid on a city centre store have been released.

Shortly after 7.20pm on Wednesday 19 September 2012, three masked men, who were wearing high visibility jackets and trousers, entered Selfridges on Exchange Square.

The offenders smashed display cabinets using an axe and crowbars and stole 57 watches worth £645,000.

They escaped in a Black Mercedes Benz driven by a fourth offender. The car was found abandoned Robert Street, Strangeways, a short time later.

Watches including Audermars Piguet, Jaeger le Coultre, Hublot and Cartier were stolen.

As well as trying to trace the watches, police are keen to hear from anyone who knows where the high visibility clothing worn by the offenders is manufactured or sold.
All three offenders are wearing identical clothing that appears brand new. The jackets have black press studs and police want to hear from anyone who may have recently sold these items.

Detectives also believe the axe – which has a wooden handle that is black on the lower half and red on the upper half – is new and want to know where this was purchased.

Detective Constable Adam Cronshaw, said: “We have had an excellent response from the public following our initial appeal but I am now eager to hear from anyone with specific information about the clothing worn and the axe used.

“The clothing appears brand new and if anyone recently sold a batch or three or four or more I would urge you to call us.

“I also want anyone who knows where they may have been manufactured and anyone who may have recently sold an axe similar to the one used by the robbers to get in touch.

"This was a brazen robbery while the store was open and busy with members of the public.

"It was clearly well planned and executed. These men were in and out in less than 80 seconds and were very particular about the watches they selected.

"I am appealing for anyone who knows who is responsible or has overhead someone talking about this robbery - either before or after it happened - to contact us in absolute confidence.

"The offenders will, at some point, undoubtedly look to off load these watches and I would urge people to be mindful of this robbery and again if anyone is approached with a view to buying any of these items to please contact us."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 3240, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 3240, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.