Robbery gang caught on camera

This was moment yesterday a gang armed with pick axes and sledgehammers readied themselves to smash the windows of a Norwich jewellery store in an audacious daylight raid.

This was moment yesterday a gang armed with pick axes and sledgehammers readied themselves to smash the windows of a Norwich jewellery store in an audacious daylight raid

The photograph of the four men was taken by an EDP reader and is now being treated as police investigating the raid at Winsor Bishop in London Street as vital evidence.

The reader, who asked not to be named, said: "I heard a big bang and ran to the window.

"The men spent so long beating the window with hammers that a crowd of about 15 people

gathered round to watch, there was even a old lady less than four feet away.

"They didn't manage to smash both windows, but they were still smiling when they ran off".

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Meanwhile, the jewellery store manager praised staff who cleared the window display of thousands of pounds worth of goods while the thieves set about breaking the glass.

Sophie Croydon, manager of the store, which was raided by an armed gang in July last year, described how the store's security guard and another member of staff, "bravely entered the display window from inside the shop while glass was raining down, and brought most of the jewellery back into the shop".

Carrie Parker, 20, a hair stylist at Toni and Guy, across the street said: "I saw one of the men reach in through a small hole they had smashed in the left-hand window and take some jewellery."

A mature student, who does not want to be named, was outside the shop at the time, said: "It looked like they didn't really know what they were doing.

"When the window failed to smash some of them started to run off, but then they came back to have another go at the glass."

He and others chased the men, described as black, aged in their 20s and wearing dark hooded-tops, through St Andrew's to their getaway car parked on Princes Street.

A woman described seeing the men park the car and thinking it was strange that they hadn't bought a parking ticket.

A few minutes later she saw them come running back carrying axes and hammers in black bags.

During a raid on the shop in July last year a shop assistant was pistol-whipped across the face three times.

In February Kulder Ojaaar, 24, from Kuressaare in Estonia was jailed for 11 years after pleading guilty to attempted robbery and carrying a firearm during the raid.

Winsor Bishop has specialised in high-end jewellery since 1834 and stocks world renowned brands such as Rolex, Cartier and Tag Heuer.

The police are appealing for two witnesses, who they believe could hold vital information on the 9.45am raid, to come forward.

A woman with white or greying hair who was wearing pink skirt and grey jacket, who was near to the scene and a man who helped chase the offenders and may have taken a picture of them.

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