Page last updated at 12:45 GMT, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 13:45 UK

Burka-clad thief raids jewellers

Michael Jones Jewellers
Rolex, Cartier and Breitling watches were among those taken in the raid

A man wearing a burka was one of three armed raiders being hunted by police after watches valued at £279,000 were stolen from an Oxfordshire jewellers.

The gang burst into Michael Jones Jewellers in High Street, Banbury, at 1420 BST on Tuesday.

They threatened staff with two handguns and a sledgehammer before stealing 64 watches, many of them Rolex and Cartier.

They escaped in a waiting black Audi estate with blacked-out windows.

The car was driven off in the direction of Broad Street and was later found abandoned in Hightown Road in the town.

Officers said the car had been seen three hours earlier in the town centre and appealed for anyone who may have spotted the vehicle to contact them.

Det Insp Steve Duffy said: "Thankfully nobody was injured during the robbery, but obviously the staff have been left very shaken by what has happened.

"I appeal to anyone who was in Banbury town centre and has any information, however insignificant you think it may be, to contact police immediately."

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