Robbers escape with £40,000 haul of jewellery after lunchtime raid on Leeds gallery

Some of the items of jewellery taken from Art of Gold during the raid.
Some of the items of jewellery taken from Art of Gold during the raid.

A skilled jeweller looked on in horror as masked raiders burst into a Leeds gallery at lunchtime and smashed display cabinets with bricks.

The trio went on to threaten Seth Gardner before escaping with a £40,000 haul of gold rings and pendants, many of which he had designed and created himself.

A pendant taken by the robbers.

A pendant taken by the robbers.

A colleague told the YEP that Mr Gardner had been left emotionally traumatised by the audacious robbery at Art of Gold.

And while the team at the gallery in Horsforth can take some comfort in the fact that there were no rings for brides and grooms awaiting collection, the men responsible remain at large.

Detectives are today continuing to hunt the raiders, who fled the scene in New Road Side in a blue Mini Cooper.

They believe someone in the community could hold a crucial piece of information on what has become of the jewellery or the men involved.

The robbers entered the gallery shortly after 1.30pm on Wednesday, August 9.

One man threatened Mr Gardner and stole cash from the till, while his two accomplices smashed the cabinets and stole gold and silver jewellery.

Mr Gardner’s colleague said: “Apart from the significant emotional trauma this caused, they took the majority of the gold jewellery that Seth designs and makes.

“Some of the pieces they took can’t be replaced. Each was individually handcrafted, a one-off piece of jewellery whose value was in its unique nature, not in its gold or gem content.

"To the robbers the jewellery would have just been pieces of 18ct gold which they will take to be melted down and for which they will receive scrap prices.

“Luckily the jewellery that we design and make for customers had all been collected so no brides and grooms or engagements were affected. And more significantly no-one was physically hurt.”

Police said the men also took a mobile phone and bank cards, before escaping in the Mini. It was later recovered in Woodhouse.

The first man was described as black or mixed race, aged in his early twenties, about 5ft 10in and slim. He had his face covered and was wearing a hoodie.

Contact Leeds District CID at Elland Road or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting crime number 13170365938.