Jewellers shop invisible raid
In Armley town street there was an independent jeweller’s shop which had a Chubb alarm system installed. It was popular with locals and sold a wide variety of items from clocks and watches to jewellery and engagement rings.
The shop had invested in a hardened glass frontage with electric mesh shutters which could be closed on an evening, the shutters were light enough to see through, yet in combination with the hardened glass, were tough enough to deter a frontal assault, these factors had two big benefits, the time taken to empty the window display end refill it every day was saved and potential customers could window shop after hours.
One morning, the proprietors arrived as normal, opened the shop, raised the inner display shutter, prepared the till, and had a morning hot drink whilst waiting for their first customer of the day. A customer did arrive but unfortunately, they were not wanting to buy jewellery, rather to inform the staff that the window display was not as good as usual, in fact rather depleted.
The proprietors stepped outside to see what the customer meant, and to their horror they realised the window had been robbed.
They called the police and without opening the window display started to perform a stock count through the glass windows, it struck them that the items missing were an eclectic mix, wristwatches but not clocks, necklaces but not earrings, all the stands and prices were as they had been set up, just the items were missing.
When the police arrived, they were somewhat baffled by the raid, the shop had not been broken into, the alarm had not activated, yet it was undeniable that a lot of items had gone missing from the window.
The police opened the window display from inside the shop, dusted for fingerprints, and the shop staff could then clear the window for a proper stock take.
With the window empty, the opportunity for a clean seemed a good idea, the proprietors had noticed some dust on the bottom of the display area at the side opposite the door, adjacent to the premises next door. There was a curtain covering the wall in this part of the window display and when it was moved for vacuuming, it was suddenly obvious how the robbery had been executed, there was a brick missing in the wall between the jewellers shop and the next unit.
The police returned to the scene, the premises next door had been vacant for some time and they checked around the back, a forced window was discovered through which an officer climbed into the building. Behind the glass windows at the front of the shop which had been whitewashed whilst the unit was empty. On the floor was an electric drill, a chisel and hammer and a lot of plaster and brick dust which had been left behind.
It would seem that persons unknown had forced entry into the adjacent shop, used the drill and chisel to remove the brick, then using a barbeque fork, they had pushed the curtain to one side and lifted everything they could easily reach with the long fork through the hole.
This explained why earrings and clocks had not been taken, watches and necklaces were easy pickings with the fork, also care needed to be taken as the intruders could not be sure that a passer-by may notice if the window display was badly disturbed.
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