Unconfirmed reports from social media suggested that a group of as many as 20 builders noticed the attempted robbery taking place and proceeded to confront the suspects before police arrived.
The social media user in question declined to give a statement and asked not to be named when approached by Jewellery Focus, but had posted a selfie showing a gaggle of builders in the background near the affected location with the description: “Silly boys on scooters with sledge hammers and axes just tried to rob the Breitling shop.
“Clearly didn’t bank on the 20 or so builders working in the area who promptly jumped them and kicked seven bells out of a couple of them before the police arrived. Fun times in London.”
However a spokesman for Breitling’s New Bond Street store reported it was in fact nearby Avery Row Watchfinder & Co that had been targeted, a claim later confirmed to Jewellery Focus by a spokesman for Watchfinder.
The London Met said in a statement: “Police in Westminster were called at around 11.13hrs on Tuesday 10 October following reports of a smash and grab raid at a watch store in Avery Row. At this early stage officers believe there were five suspects riding three mopeds, armed with a sledgehammer. All had helmets and balaclavas on.
“The men were seen to make an attempt to break the glass frontage of the shop but failed to do so. As they fled the scene, one of the men fell off his moped and was detained by a member of the public for a short time until officers arrived at the location. “This man was arrested and taken to a central London police station where he currently remains in custody. The moped he was riding on was seized by police.”
There have been no reports of any injuries.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101. Alternatively contact crimestoppers anonymously via 0800 555 111.