Derbyshire gold refiner targeted in calculated attack on business.
Derbyshire Constabulary is appealing for the jewellery industry’s vigilance following a premeditated attack on precious metal refiner Capella Manufacturing in which thousands of pounds of precious metal and jewellery were taken.
The robbery took place on November 19 at about 5.30pm, when five men armed with knives entered a house on Springdale in the town of Buxton, holding a man and three children captive.
According to Derbyshire Police, the five men searched the house and stole the family’s jewellery before forcing the male occupant to drive to his place of work on Staden Lane Industrial Estate in Buxton in his white Mercedes.
Property stolen from the house includes a platinum chain with diamond pendant, a platinum eternity ring, a black Raymond Weil watch, a white Guess watch, a Storm watch, a Blue John necklace, a platinum hand woven bracelet and various yellow and white gold diamond rings.
Items stolen from the business, named as precious metal refiner Capella Manufacturing, include gold bars and silver ingots, platinum goblets, chains, rings and other jewellery, gold sovereigns, diamonds and a variety of Berker Brothers wedding rings, each featuring the company’s B BROS hallmark.
The three children, two aged 12 and the other aged eight, remained at the house with three of the offenders, who tied them up with cable ties. The two other suspects later returned to the house with the man, who was reunited with the children.
The suspects, who were wearing balaclavas and dark clothing, drove off in the family’s white Mercedes and a second family car, a silver Toyota Rav 4. Both these cars were found abandoned in Buxton.
The Mercedes was found on Fernway in Harpur Hill in the early evening on Wednesday, November 20. Officers later spoke to a witness who saw three Asian men acting suspiciously in the area.
The Toyota was discovered on Nursery Lane in Burbage on Thursday November 21.
Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Meadows, who is leading the investigation said: “This was a horrendous ordeal for the man, his children and their friend who was visiting them. Although no-one was hurt they were terrified by the men who committed this robbery.
“It appears to have been a targeted crime against a local businessman rather than a random attack. This type of offence is extremely unusual in Derbyshire and particularly for the High Peak so it is vital that we find the offenders.
“I’d like to warn others who work in this type of business to be on their guard as we don’t know if these men will strike again.
“I also want to appeal to them to be on the lookout for any of this stolen property. The thieves will need to sell what they’ve stolen and there are only a limited number of outlets for this type of metal.”
The wife of the businessman, who was out at the time of the robbery, added: “We can’t believe that they would put my husband, our children and their friend through such an ordeal. The children are very frightened and they are still in shock.
“We are extremely grateful to have had wonderful support from our family and friends as well as the police and the children’s schools.
“We have lived in and around Buxton all of our lives, some fifty years and we have worked very hard for what we have. Our lives will never be the same from now on.
“We really appeal to anyone to think and imagine what we have been through as a family, particularly our small children and we appeal for people with any information to come forward and speak to the police.”
Any who can help with the investigation should ring the police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Capella Manufacturing has confirmed that a burglary took place at its premises on November 19, though no further comment has been made by the business.