The owner of a Wiltshire jewellers has spoken of his devastation at losing almost £100,000 worth of stock following a violent raid on his premises.
John Watling, co-owner of Watling Goldsmiths, said staff were left terrified as a gang of masked men burst into the shop and made off with the haul last month.
For men, all in balaclavas and dressed in black, burst into the shop and plundered the jewellery after smashing merchandising cabinets. They left after three minutes with the items in sacks.
Mr Watling told the Wiltshire Times said as a second generation business, he felt violated by the attack on his company and employees.
“The amount they took is significant but if this were a jewellers in London you could have two or three items worth the same as the total of what has been taken here,” he said. “There were three members of staff working. The first guy that came in threatened the young woman who ran off through to the back. Another member of staff was there and they then locked themselves in to keep safe and raised the alarm.”
Mr Watling and his sister Jane Watling-Read has been running the business for more than 25 years. It has been in the Watling family since the early 1970s.
The report said that police had recovered the getaway car, which was carrying false licence plates, shortly afterwards.
Mr Watling said: “I have seen the CCTV footage with my 17-year-old daughter and they were here for no more than three minutes. They were not very proficient in my view and to be honest a little clumsy.”
Main image, uploaded by Watling Goldsmiths on social media, shows the devastation left by thieves who ransacked the store.