Selfridges in London robbed by smash-and-grab thieves

LONDON, June 7 (UPI) -- Two men, one in a burqa, were arrested Thursday when their moped crashed shortly after a robbery at the London department store Selfridges, witnesses said.

The thieves got away with jewelry and watches from the venerable store, the Daily Mirror reported. The number of people involved was unclear, with some witnesses describing as many as six, some of them wielding axes.


Matthew Carrozo said he was having a drink with a friend at the nearby Draft House just after 8:30 p.m. when he heard the sound of a crash. Bystanders detained the men on the bike, one of them dressed in motorcycle clothing and the other in a burqa, the encompassing garment worn by some Muslim women, he told the Mirror.

"Someone noticed a bag had fallen off the moped and that it had opened and a bunch a watches fell out," he said. "The duffle bag was full of watches and jewelry."

Police confirmed a robbery in "commercial premises on Oxford Street" and the two arrests. A police statement said the total number of people involved in the robbery was still unknown.


Selfridges sent its own tweet: "Hi, we just want to let you know that everyone is safe and the police are investigating. We will update you once we have more information."

The store, now a London institution, was founded in 1909 by a U.S. citizen, Harry Gordon Selfridge, who had spent 25 years at Marshall Field in Chicago. Its early years are depicted in a recent ITV television drama, "Mr Selfridge."

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