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UPDATE: Bexleyheath pawnbrokers smash-and-grab raid 'surreal' to watch
A LOAN manager has described the "surreal" moment he saw three masked raiders smash their way into a Bexleyheath pawnbrokers.
David Matthews had just left work at Everyday Loans in the Broadway to head into town at around 3.10pm on Friday when he heard a window being smashed.
The 25-year-old spun round to see three men in black balaclavas attacking the front window of Nikolas Patrick around 25m down the road using two mallets and an axe.
The hooded thugs spent more than five minutes trying to steal jewellery and other expensive items from the shop while seven builders working on the road watched on just metres away, according to Mr Matthews.
The witness, of Roberts Road, Belvedere, rang police immediately and watched the criminals make off in a grey Ford Focus parked in Church Road before officers arrived minutes later.
He said: "It was a bit of a shock really as I had never seen anything like it before.
"It seemed like it was going on so long as I was still on the phone to police while it was happening. "It was so surreal, I was just standing there and I didn’t know what was going on really.
"The police said the builders did the right thing by leaving them alone.
Builders at work in the road apparently watched the raid happen just metres away.
"The thing that surprised me was when they put a plank of wood up to stop the shutters going down.
"They must have had some idea about how the whole thing works."
Mr Matthews said the shop manager came out afterwards and told witnesses "they got s**t, they got hardly anything."
Shop owner Patrick Devine told News Shopper: "The robbers got away with very little: 90 per cent of our stock was saved due to our quick-thinking staff and we cleared the window before they got through."
A Bexley Police spokeswoman said the culprits are still at large and officers from the Flying Squad are investigating the incident.
She added: “We can confirm that the suspects were in possession of an axe. There were four men involved including the person who was in the vehicle at the time the robbery was being committed."
The same shop was raided on December 20, 2010, just six months after it opened with an estimated £20,000 of jewellery taken while the sister store in Chislehurst was hit on March 19 this year costing the business a number of expensive watches.
Anyone with information can call 0207 232 6530 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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