Page last updated at 16:24 GMT, Saturday, 15 August 2009 17:24 UK

New theory over 40m jewel raid

CCTV images of jewel raiders
A 1m reward has been offered

The men who carried out a £40m raid on a jewellery store in central London had planned to carry out the robbery two days earlier, police say.

New images have been released of the suspects approaching the store in New Bond Street at 1640 BST on Tuesday 4 August, two days before the robbery.

Insurers have offered a £1m reward for information leading to the capture of those behind the robbery.

It is believed to be the biggest reward for such a crime.

Female hostage

"We believe this was more than just a practice run, and that they were planning on committing the robbery on the 4 August," said Det Ch Insp Pam Mace.

"The stills clearly show the men outside Graff Jewellers, looking into the shop, and the blue BMW driving through New Bond Street."

The robbers walked into the premises on 6 August, threatening staff with handguns before leaving the shop with their haul and a female hostage.

The woman was released outside the shop after the robbers fired a shot into the ground and left the scene in a blue BMW. No-one was injured.

The £40m haul is exceeded in the UK only by the £53m stolen in a raid on a Securitas depot in Kent in 2006.

A 50-year-old man who was arrested by officers in Ilford, east London, has been released on bail.

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