Dramatic raid caught on CCTV

The terrifying moment the thieves burst into the shop wearing clown masks
The terrifying moment the thieves burst into the shop wearing clown masks

STARTLING video footage of the moment armed robbers threatened staff at a Wigan jewellers has been released by police.

The CCTV shows three men with Halloween masks enter Neil Kay Jewellery in Tyldesley Arcade last week and demand items from those in the shop, including one staff member who was seven months pregnant at the time.

The incident happened shortly after 10.20am on Tuesday, October 23 at the town centre store.

The men, armed with crowbars and a hammer, got out of a dark coloured vehicle at the edge of the shopping centre and walked a short distance into the jewellers. The robbers then stole a large amount of jewellery from the shop before running off in the same direction they arrived.

They got back into the dark coloured VW Golf Model R DSG S-A that was bearing false registration plates, number WJ60FWL, which was driven by a fourth man and made off.

The car was later found abandoned in the Whitley area, but had been stolen during a robbery in Withington on October 15.

The three men are described as wearing dark trousers, gloves and white t-shirts, with long sleeved dark tops underneath.

One of the men was wearing a clown mask with a red curly wig, the second man was wearing a Halloween style mask with a white dreadlock-type wig and the third man was wearing what was believed to be a clown mask with a black curly wig.

They were also carrying charity collection buckets with eyewitnesses reporting seeing the men “larking about” in the shopping centre prior to the robbery.

Detective Inspector Martin Reddington from Wigan CID said: “These men have terrified staff and customers, including a pregnant woman, as they carried out this robbery dressed in horror style masks and armed with weapons.

“These men even had the audacity to carry charity collection buckets as they committed this crime and showed no concern as they hurriedly opened and rifled through drawers right next to the pregnant woman.

“We are making a number of inquiries to identify these criminals and are appealing for the public to contact us if they saw these men in the lead up to or after this robbery. We are also eager to trace where the getaway car was kept between when it was stolen from Withington on October 15 and when it was used on the day of the robbery.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Wigan CID on 0161 856 7295 or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. To see the video click here