Page last updated at 11:00 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 12:00 UK

Robberies linked to copter damage

Police helicopter (generic)
The Surrey Police helicopter had to undergo specialist repair

Two incidents of vandalism which put the Surrey Police helicopter out of action could be linked to jewellery robberies in the county, police say.

The helicopter, based at Fairoaks Airport, Chobham, was vandalised on 30 October and 30 April.

Jewellery worth hundreds of thousands of pounds was stolen in raids at Boshers in Chobham on 31 October and Amore jewellers in Cranleigh on 1 May.

Surrey Police said it was investigating possible links between the incidents.

In both cases of vandalism the police helicopter was so badly damaged it was unable to assist at the scene of the robberies.

In the latest incident, an axe was used to to smash five windows, putting the aircraft out of action until 19 May.

The robberies are part of a series of raids at jewellers across the county in the last year.

Sledgehammer raiders

Three raiders wearing balaclavas got away with a quantity of jewellery after smashing cabinets at Amore in Cranleigh High Street.

At Boshers, in Chobham High Street, four men used a sledgehammer to force entry to the store and grabbed jewellery worth £300,000.

An appeal for information was made on the BBC's Crimewatch programme in December and three people were later arrested but no further action was taken.

"The investigation into the robbery at Boshers Fine Jewels is still ongoing," said a Surrey Police spokesman.

"As part of our inquiries we are investigating a possible link between the robbery and damage that was caused to the force helicopter on 30 October.

"We are also investigating a possible link between damage to the helicopter on 30 April and a robbery at Amore jewellers in Cranleigh."

He said that a full review of security at the Fairoaks site, including the CCTV system, had been carried out.

"A number of security measures have been improved to minimise the threat of any similar attacks occurring in the future," he said.



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SEE ALSO
Vandals attack police helicopter
14 May 09 |  Surrey
Three arrests follow jewel raid
12 Jan 09 |  England
Raiders take jewels and watches
01 May 09 |  Surrey

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