An armed gang targeted Europe’s largest Rolex boutique yesterday in the latest of a spate of moped raids to plague London’s luxury retailers.
Seven men armed with sledgehammers and an axe rode up to the Rolex boutique at Knightsbridge’s ultra exclusive One Hyde Park complex on three mopeds and a motorbike shortly after 10.25am on Wednesday morning.
The men caused damage to the 3,000sq ft flagship store’s windows and door and made off with a number of watches. The robbery was cut short when recently installed fogging countermeasures were activated, filling the store with a harmless smokescreen and hindering the thieves.
Witness reports of the smoke led the London Evening Standard to incorrectly report that smoke grenades had been set off in-store by the raiders.
A spokesman for The Watch Gallery, which operates the boutique, told WatchPro.com: “Despite managing to force entry into the boutique, due to the recently upgraded security measures put in place, the theft and damage were minimal. Fortunately nobody was hurt and the store will open tomorrow for business as usual.”
David Coleridge, chairman of The Watch Gallery and its parent company DM London, said: “Whilst incredibly scary for the staff, thankfully nobody was injured. It is sad that in today’s world we require such extensive security measures, but it is great to see these working nonetheless”.