A group of thieves abseiled into a H Samuel boutique, snatching tens of thousands of pounds worth of jewellery.

In the early hours of the morning, a gang of “highly skilled” thieves broke through the ceiling of the jeweller’s store at The Fort retail park in Cheetham Hill, and then abseiled 40ft down to reach the shop floor.

Police were alerted to the burglary and arrived just after 2.30am.

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It’s not clear how many people were involved, but the gang smashed through the retailer’s glass display cabinets and swiped tens of thousands of pounds worth of jewellery before making their escape.

Early estimates from Greater Manchester Police suggest between £40,000 and £80,000 worth of jewellery was stolen.

A manhunt is underway and officers are appealing for any potential witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.

The raid has been described as “well planned”, with police saying they knew “exactly what they were doing”.