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Millions see £7,000 watch stolen from Norwich shop

PUBLISHED: 08:00 16 December 2010 | UPDATED: 08:02 16 December 2010

An enterprising raid on a city pawnbrokers during which a £7,000 watch was stolen has been aired to millions of people on national television.

Viewers of the BBC’s Crimewatch programme, which has been screening national crime appeals for more than 25 years, saw the moment a man and a woman stole a Rolex watch from a Cash Converters shop in Norwich.

Footage of the raid at the St Benedicts Street branch of the pawnbrokers was featured in the “caught on camera” section of Tuesday night’s show.

It showed a man and a woman entering the branch and browsing for a while looking at various items from the display cases.

Then, as the man has the attention of one of the shop assistants, the woman can be seen to reach into the display cabinet and take a watch before slipping it into her handbag.

Moments later she leaves the shop and is followed by the man.

Matthew Gregson, a Norwich-based director of Cash Converters, said he hoped footage from the raid, which happened at about 3.30pm on Saturday, September 18, would lead to those responsible being caught – and stop others becoming victims too.

He said: “From our point of view it’s good to get the message out there and is good for other shops to be aware of these people.

“We got duped by these people. It’s quite a clever thing they did and it’s warning other shops to be wary of them, that’s why it was done.”

The warning for retailers to be vigilant to this type of crime comes at an important time of the year for retailers with stores across the city full of shoppers looking to complete their Christmas shopping.

It is not known whether the people responsible were local or not as staff at the store had never seen them before.

Mr Gregson, who revealed the idea to put the footage on Crimewatch came from officers who initially visited the store following the crime, said he hoped the appeal would yield some positive results.

He said: “If anything can be done to find it [the watch] it would be great – it’s got a lot of value to it.

“You can’t get much higher profile than Crimewatch.”

Anyone with any information about the crime should contact Norfolk police on 0845 456 4567 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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