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Friday, August 14, 2009

Stolen Art Watch, Diamonds, Flavour of the Month, Inside and Outside !!!


PERTH HUNT FOR WOMAN AND TWO MEN AFTER £1M ROBBERY

Gems gang’s haul is £1m in Perth robbery

DIAMOND MERCHANT’S COLLECTION SNATCHED AS SALESMAN BROWSED IN OXFAM SHOP

A GANG of thieves stole jewellery worth more than £1million from a travelling salesman as he browsed in an Oxfam shop.
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The blue canvas bag containing the gems was snatched as the salesman looked at books in the charity store.
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A young woman was seen acting suspiciously in the premises in South Street, Perth, shortly before the theft – and was later spotted getting into an old-model BMW car just before it sped off.
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The 62-year-old salesman – who works for a prominent diamond merchant based in London’s Hatton Garden district – had visited a local jeweller’s shop shortly before the thieves struck.
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Police believe he may have been followed from the Timothy Hardie shop in St John Street.
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Mr Hardie said yesterday the gems had a wholesale value of £600,000 but their retail value was more than £1million.
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The collection was a combination of new and antique jewellery.
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One diamond necklace had been priced at £90,000.
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Mr Hardie said: “The company are diamond wholesalers and I’ve been dealing with them for about 20 years.
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“He came in at about 2.30pm and there were no customers in the shop at the time.
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“A girl did come in and have a look around and the police are now saying they have CCTV footage of her in South Street, where the robbery took place.
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“I didn’t notice her acting differently from any other customer.
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“Shortly after 3pm, he came running back because his mobile phone was in the bag and he couldn’t call the police, so he phoned from here. He was in a hell of a state.
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“There was nothing to mark him out as a salesman. Some of the bigger companies now have a minder with them, but he was on his own.”
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Oxfam shop manager Walter Lindsay said the salesman had been “distraught” when he realised the bag had been stolen.
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He said: “I wasn’t in yesterday and didn’t know what it was about or the extent of it until the police statement.
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“I’ve spoken to both staff members who were on to get an update and they said the man was absolutely distraught and just ran out of the shop.
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“It just took my breath away when I heard. We’ve never had anything like that before.”
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A Tayside Police spokes-woman said a woman was seen acting suspiciously in the Oxfam shop on Tuesday afternoon.
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She was aged 20-25, about 5ft 2in and slim.
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The woman had long, dark-brown, wavy hair tied back in a ponytail and was wearing jeans, black trainers with white toes, a black jacket and a light-coloured top.
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She was also carrying a light-coloured shopping bag with a pattern on it.
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A woman matching her description was also seen with two men shortly after the theft.
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One of the men was about 6ft and of Asian appearance, with thick, dark hair. He was wearing a black suit.
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He was seen in South Street standing beside a four-door, dark saloon car, possibly a blue or black old-model BMW.
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The second man was about 5ft 9in, of “dark European” appearance with thinning grey hair. He was seen running across South Street carrying a blue bag, closely followed by the woman.
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All three got into the car, which then sped off.
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Detective Inspector Mike Pirie said: ‘‘We’re very keen to hear from anyone who was in the area on Tuesday afternoon who may have seen any of these individuals either before or after the theft took place.
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‘‘Detectives are in the process of examining both public and private CCTV footage from the area in a bid to identify those responsible.”
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Police have urged anyone with information on the theft to contact them on 0300 1112222.

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