A BURGLAR made off with around £4,000 worth of wristwatches from a Whitby jewellers in a daring early morning burglary on Monday.
The thief stole 13 Tissot watches, valued at an average price of £300 each, after smashing the window of CW Sellors on Sandgate at 1.40am.
He was only disturbed from taking more of the high-value goods when he was disturbed by a local resident, who was woken by the sound of a large boulder smashing through the reinforced window.
Looking out into the street, she saw the man in the act of committing the burglary. She yelled at the criminal, who then fled the scene, and although she did not wish to be named for fear of repercussions, said: “It was just instinct.
“I’m of the belief that if it isn’t yours you don’t touch it.”
The thief approached the shop from Ellerby Lane before smashing the window and stealing the watches, which were on display. Store manager Emma Tyreman, who was woken at her home by representatives of Secom, the security company that protects the jewellers, said: “I live in Sleights so as soon as I could I got here.
“I’m gutted because we’ve had a really good weekend for trade.
“Then yesterday police were going in and out all day.
“There’s the boarded window as well, it doesn’t look good.
“We’ve lost a lot of money.”
CCTV images from a camera on Sandgate show the burglary as it unfolds. The man leaves the snicket opposite the store, strolls past it twice and then shatters the window with a boulder, which appears to have been taken off the beach and was left at the scene.
He then reaches through gaps in the shutters and grabs a number of the watches.
“It’s done in seconds, you can see it on the CCTV camera,” said Mrs Tyreman.
“You could see him quite clearly, you can see his eyes.
“The guy on the camera is a really big guy with quite a bit of strength.
“It would have taken a wallop but somebody like him would have gone through quite easily.”
Mrs Tyreman believes the theft was planned in advance as the window displays feature a variety of other high-value goods, but these were not taken. This may be due to the fact the other pieces mainly feature Whitby jet and would therefore be easier to trace.
The suspect is described as approximately 6ft tall with a stocky build. At the time of the theft he was wearing dark trousers and a dark-coloured hooded jacket, with the hood up, and a balaclava.
Following the burglary, the thief headed along Ellerby Lane towards Church Street.
PC Harry Baker, of Whitby Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “I urge anyone with information about this burglary to contact the police or Crimestoppers straight away.
“I would like to speak to anyone who may be offered a wristwatch in unusual circumstances and ask them to come forward as soon as possible.”
Anyone who can help the police with their enquiries is asked to contact Whitby police on 101 and select option 2. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting reference number 12120056219.