POLICE have had to return to the drawing board after a couple they arrested for Bonnie and Clyde-style gem raids in Wigan were released without charge.
A 25-year-old man and 24-year-old woman had been arrested in connection with an attempted robbery at Neil Kay Jewellers in the Galleries on April 4, and another at the Uncles Jewellers and Pawn Brokers in Chapel Street, Pemberton, a week later.
But after answering bail, both have been told they are free to go.
Detectives today launched a fresh appeal for anyone with details as to the raiders’ identity or other information about the heists to get in touch.
On both occasions, the would-be robbers pulled up outside the stores on a motorbike and tried to use a sledgehammer to smash their way inside.
However each time quick-thinking members of the public were able to stop them from stealing anything.
One brave by-stander caught the botched raid at Uncles Jewellers on his camera phone and officers have been studying the video evidence in close detail.
This footage can also be seen at www.wigantoday.net.
Officers at the time commended the shop worker and member of the public for their bravery in holding the would-be-thieves back but warned people never to put themselves in danger.
It is thought that one of the robbers is a woman.
Because both were wearing full face bike helmets with darkened sun visors, there is no description available yet of their facial features. Both were wearing dark clothes.
Police also say that witnesses have as yet been unable to give then any number plate details, if indeed the machine still had one.
They have also been unable to identify its make.
Det Insp Martin Reddington said: “Both of these robberies took place on busy shopping streets and caused a great deal of commotion and anxiety, not least for the members of staff on duty at the time. I would continue to appeal to anyone who has information about either robbery or the whereabouts of the motorbike involved to come forward.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 7124 or independent charity Crimestoppers 0800 555111.