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£40,000 worth of jewels stolen in raid on Salts Mill shop
An angry businessman said he wanted to “throttle” the thieves who stole “between £30,000 and £40,000“ worth of antique jewellery in a raid in Saltaire.
The raiders squeezed through a tiny window to strike at Carlton Fine Art and Antique Centre, Salts Mill, at some point between 5pm on Wednesday and 10am yesterday.
Proprietor Malcolm Gray, who rents out cabinet space in the centre to dealers, said the burglars targeted seven cabinets in particular, fleecing one of about £15,000 worth of jewellery alone.
The centre is on the second floor of the mill, said Mr Gray, who added: “They climbed onto the roof to get to my premises then broke in through a window to get in.
“It is a tiny window – about 17 inches by 11 inches.”
Mr Gray, 69, continued: “They have taken between £30,000 and £40,000 worth of jewellery – the majority of it was rings. Some bracelets, necklaces and brooches have gone as well.
“They have targeted seven cabinets in all. None of my stuff has gone, but one dealer’s cabinet has been emptied of £15,000 worth of rings, some of them diamond rings.
“They have been very selective in what they have targeted.”
He added: “I would throttle them.”
Mr Gray said whoever broke in had cut themselves on the window in the process, leaving behind DNA evidence for police.
He added: “They had to somehow get onto the roof of the mill, they have got to climb a drainpipe.
“Clearly they have targeted it and looked for a vulnerable point, which they have found and which we didn’t know we had.”
Mr Gray said it was Newark antiques fair yesterday and that the raiders could have targeted the goods with one eye on selling them at the fair.
Mr Gray said he has traded as an antiques dealer in Saltaire for 25 years and not once has his business in the mill been hit.
“It is so unexpected with my position,” he said.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: “Police were called at about 10am to a report of a burglary at an antiques dealers in the Salts Mill in Saltaire.
“It is believed the offence took place overnight and a number of antiques and jewellery have been reported stolen.
“Enquiries are ongoing and anyone who has information is asked to contact Airedale and North Bradford CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”