Police hold two for £40m jewels raid

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The Independent Online

Two men have been arrested in connection with Britain's biggest jewellery heist, Scotland Yard said.

The suspects were held yesterday - nearly two weeks after the £40 million raid at Graff jewellers in New Bond Street, central London.

The Metropolitan Police disclosed only that the pair were arrested yesterday, saying they were not issuing any more details for "operational reasons".

Flying squad detectives have been carrying out a huge manhunt since the audacious robbery on August 6.

Two smartly-dressed men travelled by black taxi to the Mayfair store before being captured on CCTV footage walking calmly inside.

They pulled out two handguns in the shop and ordered a woman staff member to put 43 items of jewellery in a bag.

Among the items taken were a pair of white round diamond double hoop earrings, a yellow diamond flower necklace, platinum white Marquise diamond ring and a men's 45mm chronograph watch.

As the robbers left the shop they fired at a security guard before getting into a blue BMW, passing a package to a motorcyclist before crashing into a taxi nearby.

They fired a second shot as members of the public attempted to intervene, before getting into a silver Mercedes and then a people carrier.

The culprits were also caught on CCTV visiting the jeweller two days before the raid.

Forensic specialists have been examining two cars and a motorbike used in the getaway plan, as well as a discarded handgun and materials used to disguise two armed robbers.

Earlier this week it was claimed one member of an organised crime gang who carried out the raid had been identified after police found his DNA.

Yesterday's two arrests are the second and third to have been made by police in connection with the robbery.

Last week officers arrested and questioned a 50-year-old man in Ilford, east London. He was released on bail ending further inquiries.

During the massive manhunt, officers have searched properties in a series of raids across London and the South East.

Materials from make-up artists who unwittingly helped the robbers by altering their hair and skin tone to make them look older have also been examined.

Police have offered an unprecedented £1 million reward for information leading to the gang.