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SCRAMBLER RAID; Sledgehammer raiders on dirt bikes target jewellers in terrifying daylight robbery.

Byline: ALAN WESTON ECHO reporter @alanweston

A SLEDGEHAMMER gang on scrambler bikes attacked a jewellery shop in broad daylight.

The four-strong crew, thought to be from Liverpool, arrived on scrambler bikes at GS Milton jewellers and pawnbrokers in St Helens town centre, armed with two sledgehammers and a pickaxe.

Three of the gang then tried to smash their way through the front window to grab the wares on display, which included high-value watches and jewellery, while the fourth revved the engine on his bike.

Five members of staff cowered inside the premises as the attack took place, shortly before 5pm on Friday.

Among them was shop manager Keith Leicester, who said: "It was a terrifying experience and we were all shaken up by it.

"The first we knew about it was when we heard a number of motorbikes, followed by the sound of loud banging as they attempted to smash the glass in.

"This activated the alarms and also triggered the anti-theft fogging device, which filled the shop with smoke.

"We just locked the door and waited for it to be over."

The toughened security glass foiled the raiders and they left empty-handed on two bikes.

The failed raid took place in full view of shoppers and people making their way home.

The scrambler bike yobs remained uncaught yesterday, despite a high-speed pursuit by police as the gang headed towards Liverpool following the incident.

The jewellers' shop was open for business as usual yesterday, despite the front window of the premises being shattered, and the damage caused by the impact of the heavy objects clearly visible. Mr Leicester added: "It will cost thousands of pounds to replace the glass, but the main thing is that no members of staff were threatened or hurt.

"We've spent today tidying up but otherwise we're trading normally."

Detectives have asked the public to come forward with photographs and video footage which could help them with their enquiries.

They said four males dressed in dark clothing and wearing distinctive helmets arrived at GS Milton jewellers on two scrambler bikes from the direction of Bridge Street at just after 4.45pm on Friday.

They then tried to smash the front windows of the premises. They were unsuccessful and made off emptyhanded onto Westfield Street, before heading in the direction of Page Moss/Dovecot.

Detective Inspector Ian Hussey, from St Helens CID, said: "This took place at a busy time of day and we are aware a number of bystanders filmed or took photographs on their cameras and mobile phones.

"We would ask anyone who has such footage to supply it to us so we can identify the people responsible and bring them to justice."

Anyone with footage or photos can email them to quoting reference 0516228154. Anyone with information should call St Helens CID on 0151-777 6886.


|SHOP ATTACK: The armed raiders on scramblers targeted GS Milton Jewellers in Ormskirk Street, St Helens

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 9, 2016
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