Reward in hunt for £1.3m jewellery heist gang

Hamilton and Inches jewellery store in George Street. Picture: Scott Taylor
Hamilton and Inches jewellery store in George Street. Picture: Scott Taylor
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A REWARD of up to £5000 is being offered in an attempt to catch an armed gang who carried out what is thought to be Scotland’s biggest jewel heist in Edinburgh last month.

The crime-fighting charity, Crimestoppers, is offering the cash for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gang who robbed the Hamilton & Inches jewellery store in George Street.

Three masked men dressed in dark clothing targeted the store at around 11.30am on Friday, June 6, when they rounded up the store’s terrified staff and threatened them with an axe, a hammer and a machete.

After smashing several glass cabinets, they made off with holdalls stuffed with 
£1.3 million worth of expensive watches and gems. Among the jewels stolen was a prized diamond Chatila necklace worth £325,000 and a set of Chatila earrings worth £95,000.

It has also been revealed that the robbers snatched more than £800,000 from window displays alone, including diamond rings ranging from £3525 to £61,000 in price and eight Patek Phillipe watches costing between £22,000 to £66,000.

Detective Inspector Carol Craig, who is leading the inquiry, said the thieves “knew exactly what they were looking for”.

The suspects made their escape in a white BMW with a waiting driver and then abandoned the getaway car in Gloucester Lane before getting into a dark blue Honda CRV which was seen heading towards Stockbridge.

The second car, a 2007 model, was abandoned in a car park at East Pilton Farm Rigg, off Ferry Road, but unlike the first car it had not been burned out, making the police believe the gang could have become “spooked”.

The first batch of forensic results are expected some time next week, and police are now examining fresh CCTV footage which may contain the second getaway car.

“We are leaving no stone unturned. No matter how small it might seem, we are following up everything,” DI Craig added.

“We are confident we are going to identify the persons involved. We are getting nearer and nearer. Now we have recovered the second getaway car, it is all coming together.”

It is thought gang travelled from Manchester and spent up to 48 hours in Scotland before the robbery.

Senior regional manager for Crimestoppers, Dave Hunter, said: “We would urge anyone with information to contact us anonymously, safe in the knowledge that their hidden identity will not be revealed.”

katie.richardson@edinburghnews.com