POLICE were today hoping to receive a crucial breakthrough in the hunt for a violent gang who carried out a terrifying hammer robbery at an exclusive Fylde coast jewellers.
Detectives last night made a national TV appeal to track down the gang who carried out the £500,000 raid at Leonard Dews in Lytham.
CCTV footage of the masked raiders, who broke through the front door of the Clifton Street shop, was shown on BBC’s Crimewatch.
The gang – armed with sledge hammers – escaped with a precious haul of diamonds and watches.
CCTV footage from security cameras in the store showed a man in a smart suit entering the shop. He seemed to hesitate in the doorway before accomplices – wearing balaclavas and carrying hammers – then smashed display cases before leaving the shop and getting in a nearby getaway car.
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “A smartly dressed man in a grey suit has a good look in the window before entering through the shop’s security doors.
“As he hesitates between the two doors a black Ford Mondeo pulls up outside and a gang of masked men jump out.
“His pause allows the raiders to burst in – smashing through the shop’s internal door using sledge hammers.
“Most of the gang stream inside where they fill holdalls with expensive jewellery valued at up to half a million pounds.
“One of them has to acrobatically stretch to keep the two doors open. The gang are in and out in just over two minutes and back into the waiting Mondeo – despite the best efforts of a man who tries to stop them using a chair.
“We need to know who they are.”
The getaway car was dumped and set on fire in nearby Agnew Street, before the raiders got into a silver Ford S-Max.
They then drove off towards Wrea Green. The getaway car was later found burnt out on Peel Hill, Marton.
The robbery, which happened on September 22 last year, followed an earlier raid on Lytham diamond specialist Woodcock and Co on Henry Street.
If you have any information call Blackpool CID on (01253) 293933 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.