POLICE are hunting three armed robbers in fancy dress who raided a popular Wigan jewellery store in broad daylight.
The brazen trio dressed in masks, wigs and shirts emblazoned with “Halloween charity fun-run” forced entry to town centre shop Neil Kay Jewellery in the Galleries brandishing crowbars and a hammer. Eyewitnesses reported seeing the men making their getaway down the road in the direction of Mesnes Street while in possession of a bag believed to contain jewellery worth thousands of pounds.
One onlooker, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I heard screams and then two of the men rushed out of the shop.
“The third was held up a bit and looked like he got his leg stuck in the door, he was hopping to get free.
“They all had wigs on and either had masks or had their faces painted. They looked like they were doing something for charity.”
Christine Cawley, 23, who works at B and M Bargains across the street from the jewellery store, saw the men clearly drawing attention to themselves before the raid.
She said: “We could see that they were messing about outside and they came right up to our window. We were laughing, they were in Halloween style fancy dress and had a bucket to collect money.
“After the robbery happened one of my colleagues shouted that my mum’s shop had been raided as they could see a crowd gathering outside. I rushed over but it was the one next door. When I came back we checked our CCTV and we’ve got the three of them outside the shop on film.”
Diane Cawley, 47, owner of Cawley Jewellers, next door to the Neil Kay shop, said she saw her neighbour chasing the offenders down the street.
She said: “We were having tea and toast at the time and then heard screams. Next thing we know Neil is chasing them down the street. He was really moving but they got away. We went to check on the two girls who work there, one of them is heavily pregnant and was in shock. They asked us to call an ambulance as a precaution.”
A police spokesman confirmed that the offenders, two black males and one white male, dressed in clown type fancy dress, made off with a large amount of jewellery, including Rolex watches and diamonds.
Anyone who was in the town centre on Tuesday morning who may have information about the raid are asked to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.