AN armed gang raided a jewellers in a shopping centre with a chainsaw and attacked a staff member during the terrifying robbery.

Detectives from West Yorkshire Police have launched an appeal for information after an armed robbery at the White Rose Shopping Centre, in Leeds while it was still open to the public.

Police received multiple calls from 8.42pm about an ongoing robbery at Beaverbrooks jewellers.

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said: "It was reported that five suspects entered the shopping centre in possession of weapons including a chainsaw, baseball bats, and a sledgehammer."

The gang damaged glass cabinets in the jewellers - which closes at 9pm like the shopping centre itself - and stole a number of watches.

They also attacked a member of staff by pulling their hair.

Inside the White Rose Shopping Centre in June 2020Inside the White Rose Shopping Centre in June 2020 (Image: White Rose Shopping Centre)

But the victim was "otherwise physically unharmed", according to the force spokesperson.

Beaverbrooks sells watches that range in price from just over £100, up to £91,000 - stocking brands such as Hublot, OMEGA, Breitling, and TAG Heuer, according to its website.

Detective Inspector John Graham, of Leeds District CID, said: “This clearly planned and targeted robbery has taken place when the shopping centre was reasonably quiet, but I understand the huge concern that seeing these individuals armed with multiple weapons will have caused to those who were present.

“Thankfully, the staff member who was confronted by these robbers did not suffer any lasting injury, but this has been an extremely traumatic experience for them.

"Any use of weapons that causes people to fear violence is extremely serious.  

“We have extensive enquiries ongoing to identify those responsible.

"I would urge anyone who has any information that could assist us in our ongoing investigation into this robbery to please make contact.”

Anyone with any information that can help the investigation should contact Leeds District CID on 101, or using the contact options on the West Yorkshire Police website.

You should quote crime reference number: 13240344913.

Information can also be given anonymously via Crimestoppers online, or on: 0800 555 111.