BREAKING NEWS: Watchfinder hit in smash and grab raid

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Watchfinder is warning retailers in the Leeds area that it had 46 high value pre-owned watches stolen this morning (July 17), and to alert police if they are offered them for sale.

The Leeds Watchfinder boutique, which is located in the historic Victoria Quarter shopping arcade, was hit by a smash and grab raid at around 9.30am.

Nobody was injured in the robbery, but two cabinets were smashed and stripped of watches. The criminals failed to break into an additional two cabinets.

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Matt Bowling, director of Watchfinder, told WatchPro that he has serial numbers for every watch stolen. “They were mainly Rolex and Omega,” he said.

The retail value of the stolen watches was around £350,000, Mr Bowling said.

Click here to see the full list of stolen watches: Leeds-Stolen-List.

The assistant manager at the boutique, opened up at 9.30am and was almost immediately confronted by three masked raiders bursting into the store.

They were not thought to be armed, but used some sort of cosh to attack the cabinets.

Security staff from the Victoria Quarter were first on the scene, but failed to stop the robbers, who escaped on foot.

Police arrived soon after and are still at the scene.

Watchfinder says it will e-mail its entire database of customers and trade partners with details of the stolen watches because the company does not want them to suffer the consequences of buying stolen goods. There is no easy way to discover whether a watch has been stolen, and many innocent buyers only find out when they send watch into repair at an authorised service centre.

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