More on this.. Masked raiders rob Birkenhead jewellers as shoppers look on in horror
Eyewitnesses today described how one of the gang shot the shop’s window and two accomplices smashed it with a hammer and baseball bat.
They then leaned inside and grabbed dozens of luxury watches worth tens of thousands of pounds.
Birkenhead’s Pykes re-opened yesterday, just hours after the attack.
It remains unclear whether the window was shot with a nail-gun or a shotgun.
A staff member, who did not want to be named, told the ECHO: “They shot the window, it was a high-power nail-gun, which went straight through the glass, but not the polycarbonate behind.
“Then they hammered it – they got through the glass and pushed the polycarbonate back. It’s a quarter of an inch thick clear plastic, which is unbreakable.”
Once inside, the raiders, dressed head-to-toe in black, reached inside and grabbed a haul of Breitling watches, worth an average of £4,000 each.
The Pykes employee added: “One of the staff heard the glass go and pushed the attack buttons. The shop filled with smoke and the windows did. But it was so quick that they got in before security devices came in.”
Christmas shoppers wandering past the shop, on busy Grange Road, Birkenhead, witnessed the raid.
Shop assistant Jennifer Ward, 25, who works in the Shoemarket opposite Pykes, rushed to the ground floor window of her shop when she heard the commotion.
She said: “We were downstairs in the basement. We just heard the banging and we ran up because the shop was empty.
“There were these guys and a car was revving. It was pretty damned scary.
“The crowd was watching, but they couldn’t do anything.
“The robbers were smashing at the window with the baseball bat and grabbing. They were trying to get as much stuff as they could.
“They were all in black – all you could see what their eyes. It was out of the movies, it was mad scary”
After around a minute, the raiders piled into a waiting Ford Mondeo, which was pointing towards the Netto on Salisbury Street. It was later found abandoned nearby.
There were no customers inside the shop during the raid.
Pykes was last targeted by smash-and-grab burglars in June.
The attack is also similar to a jewellery heist in Heswall at the end of November, but police are not linking the two incidents.
Then three men wearing white boiler suits drilled through the front window of Hallmark on Pensby Road.
They then smashed the window with a sledge hammer and made off with up to £100,000 of jewels.
The Birkenhead raid happened at around 4.15pm on Saturday.Police are appealing for witnesses to call 0151 777 2274, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. THE ECHO