A PAIR of daring raiders staged an “Ocean’s 11-style” robbery on a city store by crawling under motion sensors to avoid setting off burglar alarms.
The thieves targeted Shapes Interior Design and Furniture in Bankhead Medway and made off with vintage watches, antique clocks and other items worth at least £40,000.
Store bosses believe the raid was “very well planned”, with the robbers clearly having carried out reconnaissance inside the shop to identify the sensors’ locations.
The men, whose exploits were caught on CCTV, smashed the front window to gain entry, but knew it would not immediately sound an alarm.
They then crawled “like commandos” through the store for 20 minutes, taking cover behind pieces of furniture to avoid sensors, and breaking open cabinets to collect their haul.
But the careful crooks finally triggered an alarm and made a crucial mistake when they dropped a bag of tools, including hammers, ropes and chisels, as they fled. Now detectives hope the clue may yield DNA evidence to identify them.
The robbers, who struck at around 3am on Saturday, escaped with 30 vintage Omega watches from the 1920s and 1930s, 20 antique clocks and other pieces of antique jewellery kept in cabinets.
Owner Ally Black said: “They were caught on the internal CCTV crawling around on the floor like commandos. They crept under the sensors so they would not set off alarms. It was very well-planned and they clearly must have been in the store before to identify where the sensors were.
“They were inside for about 20 minutes, throwing stuff into two big bags of swag, before they set off the alarm and ran for it.”
The shop was also targeted last year by robbers who made off with around £15,000 of merchandise.
Mr Black said: “I assume they took the watches because they think they’re easy to sell. They’ll find it difficult to sell the antique clocks as they are all photographed and catalogued.”
Detective Constable Joyce Gunderson, from Police Scotland, said: “This was a brazen crime which has led to the theft of antique jewellery worth thousands of pounds.
“We are appealing to anyone who was in the area around the time of the incident, who noticed anything suspicious, to contact police as a matter of urgency.
“Similarly, anyone who believes they have been offered the stolen items for sale, or has any other information, should also get in touch.”