Burka-clad Selfridges smash and grab gang 'made off with £1m in watches'

Six-strong armed gang mingled with hundreds of shoppers before smashing glass cabinets with axes and sledge hammers

The burka-clad gang who raided London’s Selfridges on Thursday night fled with holdalls containing luxury watches worth £1million, police said today.

The six-strong armed gang, all disguised as rich Arab women, mingled with hundreds of shoppers before smashing glass cabinets with axes and sledge hammers.

Two suspects were arrested after falling off a moped because members of the public stopped them from getting away.

Scotland Yard said officers recovered one holdall bag at the scene containing 41 watches.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Noyes, from the Flying Squad, said: “This was a brazen attack that was clearly well planned and well thought through. Fortunately robberies like this are rare.

“We have recovered a number of items from the scene, as well as the gang’s vehicles they used in their escape and we are carrying out a full forensic examination.”

Police recovered two motorbikes in Bolton Place, as well as a black BMW in Cumberland Gardens

“Extra officers are in the Oxford Street area and our investigation is moving quickly with a number of lines of enquiry,” said Mr Noyes. “We still want to hear from anyone who saw the robbery, who may have seen the vehicles involved in the time running up to or after the robbery or who think they may know who has been involved.”

Yesterday, a waiter who tackled one of the suspected thieves denied being a hero, saying he did “what any human being would do”.

Mohamed Hussein, a 29-year-old bodybuilder, pinned down the robber until police arrived. “I feel confident anyone would do this. I am no hero,” he said.