Armed robbers clad in black and wielding hammers, left a member of staff injured after they staged an audacious early morning raid on a high street jeweller's shop in Exeter.
The armed gang stormed the branch of Ernest Jones on the pedestrian High Street yesterday morning before speeding off in a getaway car with an armful of expensive Rolex watches.
They later dumped the Jaguar car at a supermarket on the outskirts of the city.
The number of sought-after Rolex wristwatches taken was not revealed, but they fetch anything from £2,500 to £20,000 each when sold new.
Three men smashed in the door of Ernest Jones and threatened staff with a hammer at about 9am, according to Devon and Cornwall Police.
A spokesman added: "It is believed three men in black clothing smashed the door, threatened staff with a hammer and stole boxes of Rolex watches.
"The thieves ran off in the direction of John Lewis and got into a black Jaguar.
"Following an extensive search of the area, police located the vehicle in Sainsbury's car park in Alphington.
"One member of staff was injured by glass."