The thieves grabbed jewelry with a retail value of about 1 million pounds ($1.6 million) from Rox Jewelers in Edinburgh late Tuesday afternoon, The Scotsman reported. The haul included diamond necklaces and rings, some of them valued at $160,000, and luxury watches.
Witnesses said the theft was the work of two men, one equipped with a gun and the other an ax, who left the scene on a Honda motorcycle. One was described as having an English accent while the other appeared to be local.
The ax was used to break open cabinets and the gun to threaten two female employees. The motorcycle was later found abandoned.
Detective Chief Inspector Bobby Deas said investigators are examining robberies around Britain, looking for similarities.
"We are ruling out no other incident," he said. "We will be looking at incidents that may have taken place, but at the moment we are dealing with this incident here and there will be no stone left uncovered in our investigation."
A senior detective said investigators would also be on the lookout for the stolen items.
"This kind of material will only have a certain number of outlets. It's not the sort of thing you hawk at a car boot sale. It will more than likely have been stolen to order with a recipient in mind," the detective said.