Aurum, which owns Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths, is rumoured to be in sale talks with New York firm Apollo.

Thieves grab handfuls of watches and jewels from Old Bond Street shop.

Mappin & Webb’s store on London’s Old Bond Street was targeted by a smash-and-grab motorbike gang yesterday that escaped with a haul thought to be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The thieves smashed the window of the Aurum group store, escaping with handfuls of jewels and watches worth at least £50,000 each.


Five men on three motorbikes mounted the pavement outside the branch on the corner of Picadilly and Old Bond Street. One man then smashed through the shop window with a sledgehammer while his accomplices revved and drove their bikes at pedestrians to keep them at a distance.

As the window smashed, the store’s alarm went off and anti-theft smoke billowed out of the store but the thieves reained undeterred, taking five minutes to break through the toughened security glass.

Deimante Dirvelyte, who works at Mackenzie’s cashmere shop opposite, told The Evening Standard: “Smoke started billowing out of the window. The street was covered in fog but the robbers didn’t stop. Eventually he made a hole big enough to get his hand in the window. I couldn’t see exactly what he took but there were watches in that display that started at £50,000, so even a handful could be hundreds of thousands.”

This is the fifth raid on a Mappin & Webb branch in London in the past three years.