Armed robbers used two vehicles to escape after a raid on a jewellery arcade in which almost £200,000 worth of watches were stolen, police have revealed.
Four masked men armed with hammers and axes targeted shops in the Argyll Arcade, Glasgow, at lunchtime last Wednesday.
They made their getaway in a white Volkswagen Golf hatchback which had been stolen from an address in Haddington, East Lothian, in the early hours of that day.
Police said the robbers abandoned the vehicle in Castle Street before switching to a Vauxhall Combo van which was last seen driving onto the M8 towards Edinburgh.
Today, officers were in Castle Street speaking to motorists and pedestrians to try and gather more information to help their inquiry.
Detective Inspector Alasdair Barlow said: “Our enquiries are progressing well and we’ve had a very good response from the public, including vital mobile phone footage and excellent CCTV from businesses and public space.
“We now know that the men involved had access to a white Volkswagen Golf hatchback which they used to get away from the scene of the crime and witness reports say that they drove at excessive speed from Queen Street, up Ingram Street and up to High Street, often being driven on the wrong side of the road.
“However, we also know that they had access to a Vauxhall Combo van.
“It is known at this time that they abandoned the Volkswagen in Castle Street shortly after the robbery and then left in the Vauxhall van, which was last seen driving onto the M8 towards Edinburgh.
“We have identified the Volkswagen Golf as one which had previously been stolen from an address in Haddington in the early hours of September 24.”
He said that police would like to speak to anyone in the Haddington area who may have seen a white Volkswagen Golf being driven in the area prior to the robbery and to anyone who may have seen a Vauxhall Combo or the Volkswagen being driven in the Glasgow area just before the robbery and just after it.
Video footage posted by witnesses on YouTube showed masked men running through the arcade in a cloud of smoke.
Pictures on Twitter showed men in balaclavas fleeing the scene carrying weapons and holdalls. Police were called to the arcade at about 12.50pm.
Rox, Mappin and Webb, Laing the Jeweller and Lewis Grant were targeted in the incident.
Some display windows were smashed but the thieves only managed to gain access to Rox, where they smashed the display cabinet and grabbed a small quantity of jewellery before running off.
Eighteen watches worth £197,100 were stolen while three were damaged, taking the total to around £229,000 including the damage, police said.
The timepieces stolen include a Hublot Big Bang Rose Gold Automatic Watch worth £23,000 and a Hublot King Power Unico Black Magic Watch valued at £16,600.
A security guard sustained a leg injury during the raid last week.
The suspects were last seen running up a lane at the side of the arcade’s Buchanan Street entrance.
The four men, all white, are about 5ft 8ins with slim builds and all were wearing dark clothing.