Thieves snatch luxury watches in brazen Manchester heist
Published: September 20, 2012 12:02PM
Updated: September 20, 2012 12:04PM
Greater Manchester Police handout CCTV stills showing masked raiders stealing a 500,000 pounds ($810,000) haul of luxury watches from high end department store Selfridges in Manchester, northern England late Wednesday Sept 19 2012. They walked into the premises in Exchange Square wearing high visibility jackets and trousers shortly after 1800 pm . Police said the trio then smashed display cabinets with an axe and crowbars and stole 100 watches by luxury makers such as Cartier, Jaeger le Coultre and Hublot..(AP Photo/ Greater Manchester Police)

London • British police say masked thieves wielding an axe and crowbars stole luxury watches worth 500,000 pounds ($810,000) from a high-end department store in Manchester as stunned shoppers looked on.

Police say three men entered an open Selfridges store in the northwest English city just after 1800 GMT (2 p.m. EDT) on Wednesday evening, smashed display cabinets with the axe and crowbars and stole around 100 watches before escaping in a black Mercedes getaway car driven by a fourth offender.

Police on Thursday called it a brazen attack which was “clearly well planned and executed.”

Greater Manchester Police said the men were in and out of the store in less than 80 seconds and managed to steal timepieces by luxury makers such as Cartier, Jaeger le Coultre and Hublot.