Detectives are hunting a gang of masked robbers who raided a city-centre jeweller’s and pawnbroker’s brandishing a hammer and an axe.

Staff at Nathan & Co in James Street were terrified as the men wearing balaclavas burst in and smashed their way through protective glass guarding the window display on Monday, as reported in yesterday’s Telegraph & Argus.

It is the second incident in the same street in a matter of days after a mobile phone shop was raided last week.

The gang grabbed goods from the jeweller’s before escaping in a waiting blue car which took them up the road, before it sped off into John Street.

The raiders, who left the lumphammer used in the attack behind, are believed to be Asian men, according to witnesses.

The raid happened just after 3pm on Monday and left the all-female staff shaken but not hurt.

The store manager, who did not want to be named, said: “The girls are OK and that’s a blessing. We’re all just shocked.”

On Friday a gang forced open shop shutters at Fone Bits mobile phone dealers and smashed the front door, taking about 150 handsets, worth about £15,000.

It is understood that the shop owner did not want to make a report but police said officers would be investigating it regardless and looking at CCTV.

Earlier this year the nearby Cash for Gold shop, owned by TV antique dealer Tim Hogarth, also had its shutters prised open and the front window smashed by an intruder who stole jewellery, including a 14-carat gold ring with diamonds, worth several hundred pounds and a £725 pair of diamond ear- rings.

Police investigating the Nathan & Co raid said there was nothing to suggest a connection at this stage between the raid and the theft from Fone Bits.

Anyone with information should contact Bradford South CID on the non- emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111.

* A police spokesman said two local men, aged 20 and 22, were arrested in the early hours of yesterday on suspicion of robbery and remained in custody last night with inquiries to find other suspects still ongoing.