Terrified customers were forced to hide inside shops and film as thieves smashed their way into a jewellery store in broad daylight. Police said three men, who were wearing protective equipment, entered a shopping centre on Neale Road in Deer Park about 10.40am armed with sledgehammers and crowbars. The group fled the scene in an allegedly stolen white VW Golf sedan, with registration 1KF3EA, and travelled south on Neale Road.
Witnesses described the brazen burglary as terrifying. One witness, who did not want to be named, said he was inside a shop when he heard a loud bang. “I just saw these guys with sledgehammers just trying to smash their way through,” he said. “They were just banging away at the glass.” The man said he hid inside the shop for about five minutes until the coast was clear. “I was pretty terrified,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.” Another witness said she saw the group of men flee the scene in the white VW Golf. “They were driving really erratically,” she said. “It was crazy.”
Police have released a description of the three suspects. They are all believed to be aged in their early 20s and of Caucasian appearance. One suspect is approximately 185cm tall with a proportionate build and blonde hair. He was wearing blue overalls, a black balaclava, black gloves and black shoes. The second suspect is approximately 175cm tall with no distinguishing features and was wearing dark clothing. The third suspect is also approximately 175cm tall with no distinguishing features and was wearing a light-coloured hoodie, dark track pants and white shoes.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au