Some £400,000 worth of watches have been stolen in a raid on a Beaverbrooks store in Stoke-on-Trent.
Staffordshire Police said they believe 10 people were involved in the burglary, which happened just after 2:35am on Thursday, 10 March, at the Intu Potteries shopping centre in Hanley.
The offenders, who were dressed in dark-coloured clothing with some wearing face coverings, stole £389,000 worth of watches before fleeing the scene via the first floor. They smashed their way through two sets of double glass doors to access the car park, where they escaped the building.
It is believed the same group were then seen running across Potteries Way – a nearby dual carriageway – towards Forest Court flats, in the direction of Central Forest Park.
Police are now examining items left in Beaverbrooks by the group, including a sledgehammer, crowbar and a head torch.
Staffordshire Police say their investigation so far has resulted in some “significant finds”, including a number of abandoned pedal cycles they believe link to the offenders. Three rucksacks have also been discovered, with one containing two price tags which relate to items sold at Beaverbrooks
DCI Ricky Fields, who is overseeing the investigation, said: “This is very much an ongoing investigation with several positive lines of inquiry. I am now in a position to share this detailed information which I hope could result in more lines of inquiry, and more information from members of the public.
“I would encourage people to call in with whatever information they have, however insignificant it may seem. It could prove to be a vital piece of the jigsaw.
“My team are also linked in with forces nationally as this is one of several such incidents displaying similarities and points to a specific crime group. The offenders form part of a highly skilled and meticulous group. They would have pre-planned this and knew what they were after.
“My team is committed to bringing those responsible for this crime to justice.”
Anyone with information has been urged to contact Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 36 of March 10 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.