A member of the police Flying Squad remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital after being run down when officers thwarted a smash-and-grab robbery at a luxury watch store in London’s West End on Wednesday.
Four men remain in custody on suspicion of robbery after the gang targeted the Chronext shop in Piccadilly at 11.25am. An axe, knives and the stolen jewellery were all recovered at the scene.
Three other officers were hurt in the daylight raid – two suffered minor injuries and one needed hospital trea tment for a cut, the Metropolitan Police said.
Chronext chief executive Philipp Man, 25, flew in from Zurich when he heard about the attack and said the raid resulted in around £500,000 of damage.
He told the Press Association: “I think we were targeted because we have a lot of stock and watches are quite easy to sell. But if you are a robber this is not the smartest place to target. We are in Mayfair, one of the most frequented streets in London.
“You could see that these were not professionals. A machete is pretty medieval.”
He added: “We have two Israelis and a Colombian on staff so they are accustomed to extraordinary situations.”
The men smashed the windows of the store and tried to make off on mopeds with valuable watches, but were stopped in their tracks when Scotland Yard’s anti-robbery team moved in after receiving a tip-off, the Met said.
Officers fired their Tasers a number of times as the gang tried to flee.
Detective Superintendent Craig Turner said: “Our officers are absolutely committed to keeping London safe and target the criminals who pose a danger to Londoners and our city businesses day in, day out.”
Mr Man confirmed all stock is insured, and that no customer stock was taken.