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UK: Watches worth $1.52 million stolen in Hollywood-style 'burqa' raid

Press Trust of India
Jun 10, 2013 at 11:45am IST

London: Six men dressed in 'burqas', who carried out a daring Hollywood-style robbery at one of London's most iconic department stores, stole watches worth an estimated $ 1.52 million, the Scotland Yard has said.

The men, who were disguised in 'burqas', smashed glass cabinets and filled holdalls with high-value watches in the dramatic smash-and-raid attack on the world-famous Selfridges store on Thursday.

A 19-year-old man has been charged in connection with the robbery. Metropolitan Police officers said they have recovered all the getaway vehicles used to flee the Oxford Street mega outlet in central London.

UK: Watches worth $1.52 million stolen in Hollywood-style raid

Police officers said they have recovered all the getaway vehicles used to flee the Oxford Street mega outlet in central London.

The group fled the shop on one moped, two motorbikes and in a black BMW estate, the officers said. Two suspects were later arrested when they came off a moped and members of the public stopped them fleeing. Detectives have appealed for anyone who may have witnessed the robbery to contact them.

Connor Groake, of north London, was charged yesterday with conspiracy to rob and aggravated vehicle taking. Groake appeared at Lavender Hill Magistrates' Court and was remanded in custody.

A 24-year-old man was taken to a central London hospital, believed to be suffering from a fractured leg. He remains in hospital.

"This was a brazen robbery, and appears to have been well planned and thought through. Fortunately no one was injured. The store was very busy and this will have been a shocking thing for people to witness," Detective Chief Inspector Andy Noyes, from the Met's Flying Squad, said.

"We have recovered a number of items from the scene, as well as the gang's vehicles they used in their escape and we are carrying out a full forensic examination. Extra officers are in the Oxford Street area and our investigation is moving quickly with a number of lines of enquiry," he added.

A waiter who tackled one of the suspected thieves denied being a hero, saying he did "what any human being would do". Londoner Mohamed Hussein, a 29-year-old bodybuilder, pinned down the robber until police arrived.

"I feel confident anyone would do this. I am no hero," he said.

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