Michael Jones Jewellers was targeted for the fourth time in five years by a gang who smashed their way in with sledge-hammers. They grabbed Rolex watches, but fled when a SmokeCloak security device discharged smoke in the shop. One raider was then apprehended by a passer-by outside. Stuart O’Grady, a director of the jewellers on the High Street, said, "It was great to see. The British public are getting sick and tired of this going on." The four raiders travelled down High Street on two mopeds, as they targeted the jewellers.
Mr O’Grady said, "These people are mindless - they rode down a pedestrianised area without any thought for the public. "Two of them jumped off the mopeds with sledge-hammers and broke through the front door of the shop, which is only unlocked for customers." He added, "They grabbed a number of watches, but we have a SmokeCloak security device, which was deployed." When a SmokeCloak is activated, you cannot see your hand in front of your face, which prompted the thieves to run from the shop.
"Members of the public ripped the helmet off one of the men, and the other was apprehended by three or four local people." Mr O’Grady told of how members of the public attempted to stop the other two members of the gang, who were waiting outside on mopeds, by throwing A-board signs at them. "We want to thank everyone from the local community for their help - without doing what they did all four men would have got away." Mr O’Grady confirmed that he and his staff were not threatened by the gang, but told of his frustration at the fourth raid in five years. "We come to work to do a job but unfortunately the business we are in is classed as high risk. We’ve had a loss of between £100,000 and £300,000 on the three previous occasions. But after the installation of our SmokeCloak devices – we haven’t lost a penny."