'Smash and grab' thieves stole Prada handbags worth £100,000 after driving scooter through window

Police have released this image as they continue to investigate the 'smash and grab' raids

Police have released this image as they continue to investigate the 'smash and grab' raids

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Police are appealing for information about a group of thieves who have committed a series of 'smash and grab' raids on London jewellery stores - including the robbery of handbags worth over £100,000 from Prada on Bond Street.

In that particular raid on September 1, the thieves smashed their way into the store by driving a scooter through a window, before knocking a security guard off his feet and beating him over the head and back with a hard object. 

The security guard, aged in his 60s, was taken to a central London hospital . He is now recovering at home.

The gang has also targeted Fendi Store, also on Bond Street, smashing their way through the front glass door at around midnight on September 5 before stealing handbags and purses worth an estimated £200,000.

Since September 25 police have been called to deal with four further 'smash and grab' raids - at Miu Miu, Mulberry and Hugo Boss on New Bond Street and Browns on South Molton Street. Police believe all the raids were committed by the same people.

Two of the raids - at Miu Miu and Mulberry - were thwarted, but only after the thieves had caused significant damage to the buildings in their attempt to enter. In each of the other two cases, the thieves are thought to have stolen goods worth over £10,000 in total.

Officers say the raids are over in minutes and all have taken place in the middle of the night.

To accelerate their investigation, police have released a CCTV still from the Prada raid, and anyone with information is asked to call Westminster CID on 07500 766 462 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

DC Paul Clarke, who is from Westminster CID and is leading the investigation, said: "A gang wearing mainly dark clothing and using black scooters have prowled the streets of London and committed these brazen attacks on a number of occasions.

"These 'smash and grab attacks' last only a few minutes but are committed by individuals who are carrying weapons including axes, knives and crowbars.

"There appears to be little planning ahead of the raids but high-value stores are singled out with entry forced in the quickest possible manner by the group who have smashed large display windows using weapons and scooters.

"Due to the description of the individuals involved and the methods used, we are working on the basis that these attacks are linked. The gang routinely use motorcycle helmets and dark clothing to conceal their identity.

"As well as the criminality of the burglaries, our concern is also that they have not hesitated to use violence to ensure their raids remain undisturbed. The latest images - released following the raid at Prada - show clear pictures of the individuals involved and our hope is that members of the public can help us identify those behind these attacks.

"A number of enquiries, including the recovery of detailed CCTV footage are ongoing. I would urge any witnesses and those with information to come forward and speak to my team who are ready to take your call."

No arrests have been made. Enquiries are ongoing.