£1m reward to catch jewellery robbers

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A £1 million reward is being offered in a bid to catch the robbers who pulled off Britain's biggest jewellery heist, police said today.

The two armed men escaped with 43 items of jewellery worth almost £40 million from Graff Jewellers in New Bond Street in London's West End last Thursday.

Detective Chief Inspector Pam Mace, head of Barnes Flying Squad, said: "I think this is the biggest reward that has ever been offered for a crime of this type."

The reward, of up to £1 million, for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of those responsible and the recovery of the stolen property is being offered by Tyler and Company on behalf of interested insurers.

Ms Mace added: "I'm directing my appeal at people, and that includes criminal associates, who know who these robbers are and where they are.

"We continue to actively pursue a number of lines of inquiry."

The robbers fired a gun as they escaped and again as they got into a silver Mercedes in nearby Dover Street and were challenged by drinkers at a pub.

Earlier, Scotland Yard said detectives recovered a loaded firearm in connection with their investigation. But the gun is not believed to be the one fired during the incident.

Police also released more details of the getaway cars and said the robbers used cloned number plates.

The men abandoned a blue BMW in a nearby street after it hit a black taxi just seconds after the raid.

Officers have also found a high-powered motorbike possibly used to spirit away a bag holding the stolen gems.

Scotland Yard described the first vehicle as a silver B-class Mercedes with the registration number LV06 HFA.

The car drove on into Farm Street where it is believed some of the suspects got into another car.

The second vehicle was described as a blue Volkswagen Sharan with the registration number RA07 XEV.

A police spokesman said the registration plates were known to be cloned.

Officers arrested and questioned a 50-year-old man in Ilford, east London, on Monday in connection with the robbery.

They suspect that the man, who has been released on bail, may have been involved in planning the raid, although he was not in the West End when it took place.

Officers have searched at least three properties in a series of raids across London and the South East.