This is the hammer-wielding balaclava raider caught in the act of a smah and grab.
Four Whitby town centre shops have been targeted – each with the front window smashed by a robber using a roadway metal grid and a hammer.
The latest raid took place early yesterday morning (Thursday).
All the shops belong to the CW Sellors jewellery chain. The shops attacked are:
l W. Hamond jet shop, Church Street, near the Steps
l Araucaria Jet Jewellers, Church Street
l CW Sellors, Sandgate
l The Whitby Jet Store, Church Street
Yesterday’s would be raider fled empty handed after trying to smash the window of the C W Sellors shop on Sandgate with a metal grate from outside the seafood shop.
The glass shattered but thief was unable to take anything before making off.
Shop manager, Emma Tyerman was on the scene within minutes and contacted police who are now looking into four incidents at four separate shops within as many weeks.
She said: “I had to come down on my own but they have not got anything. Glass is already re-inforced because the window has been done once before. That is why it has not gone through but it is a worry. You would think after the first attempt they wouldn’t bother anymore.”
A clean up operation started first thing while police set about doing door to door enquiries and not for the first time this week.
The Whitby Jet Store was also boarded up after a break-in during the early hours of Saturday morning.
The masked intruder got away with 14 gold-plated charms on display in the window, which wouldn’t have turned out to be as valuable as he thought, before running off in the direction of Whitby Abbey just as the previous offender did.
Store manager Becky Simpson said: “I got a call at 4.30am and was actually staying at my mums and got her to notify the police enroute. When I arrived I noticed the drain cover from the alleyway had been thrown at the window and it had been smashed with a hammer about five times.
“I watched the CCTV back and had turned up just five minutes after. That is quite daunting because he could have waited around or anything and was wearing a balaclava so he meant business.”
With the similarities in the four cases Ms Simpson said she wasn’t entirely surprised the shop had been targeted and it has left Robinsons on Sandgate, wondering if it is next.
Ms Simpson added: “We were totally expecting it and knew it was going to happen. We had taken all our high value stuff out
of the window and what we leave in is not of much value.
“We are due to get a new shop front next year and are thinking of getting shutters which is such a shame because everybody likes to look in the shops on Church Street and it is sad that it has come to this.”
North Yorkshire Police confirmed it is looking into the four incidents and isn’t ruling out the possibility that they are linked.
Witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact 101.