Pair make off from Southwold jewellers with an estimated £16k haul

Jeremy Fournel at The Amber Shop in Southwold

Jeremy Fournel at The Amber Shop in Southwold - Credit: Archant

Police are hunting a man and woman who netted thousands of pounds worth of gems in a daylight snatch-and-grab raid on a jewellers in Southwold.

The pair stole an estimated £16,000 in bangles, necklaces, rings and other valuable items, from The Amber Shop, in Southwold's Market Place, yesterday afternoon (Friday).

While the woman distracted store staff, the man opened a display cabinet and swept an entire shelf of jewellery into his pockets, before both made off towards a nearby car park and left town in a small black car.

Annie, one of two shop assistants working at the time of the robbery, said: 'They came in, started browsing, and walked into the back room for a few minutes.

'My colleague was walking back and forth from serving another customer. Then we both heard the click of a cabinet.

'By the time she checked what was going on, they were walking out of the shop.

'He left first, and was already at the door when she followed, saying 'I was in a world of my own'.'

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The shop specialises in amber but also sells gems, jewellery and pearls, and houses an amber museum at the rear.

The robbery happened shortly before 2.20pm yesterday. One member of staff gave chase but was unable to catch up with the pair, who were described as scruffy in appearance, white, in their 30s, slim and about 5ft 6in.

The man wore combat trousers with a black leather jacket, while the woman, who had brown hair tied in a ponytail, was wearing trousers with a grey jacket.

Both spoke with English accents and enquired about amber while they browsed items not kept in display cases.

Jeremy Fournel, who is taking over running the shop from his parents, Robin and Astrid, was in the office at the time of the robbery. He estimated between 20 and 30 items of jewellery had been stolen.

'They were pretending to browse a bit more when the cabinet was unlocked. He reached in through the side and filled his pockets,' said Mr Fournel.

'When they left, they headed down Church Street, towards the Co-op and then into Durrants (the estate agents) car park.

'From the CCTV, it looked like he had taken the items and she was the lookout.

'He just swept the gems from the bottom shelf in one big swoop.'

Among items stolen was a large yellow gold bangle, opal rings, an amethyst and diamond ring, and a topaz and diamond ring.

Police arrived at the scene within minutes, followed by a forensic investigation unit.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary said: 'A man and a woman are reported to have entered the premises, accessed a cabinet in the back room and stolen a quantity of jewellery. It is thought they may have made off in a small black car heading away from the High Street.'

Witnesses, or anyone with information,should call police on 101, quoting reference CAD 210 of September 30.

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