Detectives are appealing for information after thieves raided a jewellery store located in a Blackburn shopping centre.
Officers were called at around 2:30am on Tuesday, 9 February, following reports of a fire at the Church Street entrance to The Mall in Blackburn, where the burglars had smashed their way into the shopping centre.
Police officers believe that up to eight men wearing dark clothing and balaclavas had smashed through the entrance door to the centre.
Once inside, the offenders then gained entrance to Chris Shan Jewellers using a sledgehammer and crowbar, stealing an unknown quantity of jewellery.
The Church Street entrance was then set alight, before the offenders left the shopping centre through the exit neat to County Hall and Exchange Street.
Soon after the incident was reported, a second fire started at the Citroen garage on Throstle Street, Blackburn, where two cars were set alight. Blackburn Police said it is exploring whether the two incidents are linked.
Detective Inspector, Tim McDermott, of Blackburn CID, said: “We are appealing for information following the burglary of a jewellery store in The Mall, Blackburn. This was a well-planned theft involving up to eight people with their faces covered.
“CCTV footage indicates there may have been other offenders in addition to the eight who entered The Mall.
“This crime took place in the middle of Blackburn town centre and we would ask anyone with information, or who noticed suspicious activity in the area at the time of the incident, to contact police immediately.”
Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting log reference 0069 of February 9.