Thieves use sledgehammer to smash case before stealing jewellery
Brazen gun-wielding thieves use a sledgehammer to smash a display case before making off with ‘items from a London jeweller’ in front of shocked visitors at prestigious TEFAF art fair in Holland
- Police have arrested two suspects and are hunting two more after robbery
- Robbers were wielding guns and used a sledgehammer to smash display case
- Targeted display case said to have contained items from a London jeweller
- The armed robbery took place at prestigious TEFAF fair in city of Maastricht
Brazen thieves wielding guns used a sledgehammer to smash a display case before running off with jewellery in front of shocked visitors at an international art fair in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht.
Police said on Tuesday said they have arrested two suspects and are hunting two more following the armed robbery at the prestigious TEFAF fair in a convention centre.
Dutch media said the display case targeted by the robbers contained items from a London jeweller.
Dramatic video from the scene showed a man wearing a blazer and flat cap using what appears to be a sledgehammer to smash the glass display case of a jeweller’s stand.
The man is seen repeatedly hitting the display case as three other men, also dressed in blazers, flat caps and glasses, stand guard around him.
Video from the scene showed a man wearing a blazer and baseball cap using what appears to be a sledgehammer to smash the glass display case of a jeweller’s stand (left). The man is seen repeatedly hitting the display case as three other men, also dressed in blazers, stand guard around him – one of whom appears to be holding a gun (right)
The armed robbers smashed the display case of a jewellery stand at the fair on Tuesday
One member of the public runs towards the men and picks up a vase of flowers and appears to be ready to throw it at the robbers.
But two of the men standing guard brandished what appeared to be guns at the bystander.
The member of the public quickly drops the vase and moves back away from the robbers. The four armed robbers are then seen running off.
The prestigious TEFAF fair is being held in a convention centre in Maastricht, where displays of costly art and jewelry draw buyers and collectors from around the world. The fair is slated to run June 25-30.
Members of the public were quickly evacuated from the fair following the robbery.
One member of the public runs towards the men and picks up a vase of flowers and appears to be ready to throw it at the robbers (left). But one of the men standing guard rushes towards the man pointing what appears to be a gun at him. The member of the public quickly drops the vase and moves back away from the robbers. The four armed robbers are then seen running off (right)
Pictured: The smashed display case that was destroyed by the armed robbers
An eyewitness said she had seen one person holding a gun and another a sledgehammer during the robbery.
Julie Bartholomeus, from Maastricht, told De Limburger: ‘I thought very quickly to leave. My mother was a little further away, so I picked her up and we ran to the first exit.’
Police later said they had arrested two people and had closed a number of nearby roads and a major road tunnel – but they are still searching for two further suspects.
Four police cars stopped a grey car with a foreign registration number on the nearby A2 motorway and arrested the two suspects.
‘We have indeed had some roads closed as a result of the investigation after the robbery at TEFAF and have arrested two suspects on the A2,’ a spokesperson for the Limburg police told the Telegraaf.
‘The investigation is still in progress. In addition, we are still looking for two other suspects. That is now our top priority.’
Art detective Arthur Brand said he believes that the robbers could be from Eastern Europe.
He said: ‘The sheer courage to commit a robbery and attack display cases with a claw hammer on the crowded Tefaf, disguised with caps and mustaches, reminds me of an Eastern European method.
‘There are gangs in Eastern Europe that have specialized in this method. Although it is also an option that the robbers are also stupid.’
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