ARMED raiders smashed their way through a jewellery shop window and stole special items worth several thousands of pounds.

Jeweller Gabrielle Warren spoke of the shock after the break-in at her High Street store.

The owner of Carlton’s Jewellers in Maldon was forced to cut her festive family trip short after the store’s front window was smashed and the items were taken.

Images from the store’s CCTV footage show two people acting suspiciously by the window.

Shortly after two men break through the window and steal rings and watches before fleeing at about 2am on New Year’s Day.

Ms Warren said: “I believe it was planned.

“The two people in the footage knew there was jewellery within reach and they looked like they used tools to break through the window and reach through.

“They seemed to be interrupted while they were stealing the items, as they ran off pretty quickly.

“There were other people in the street at the time.

“This has never happened before.

“I’ve owned the jewellers for 15 years and it’s never once been targeted.

“I was forced to cut short my trip away with my two sons and daughter to come back and deal with it, which is the thing that’s most upset me.”

Several diamonds were among the items taken, but Ms Warren was most concerned some of her customers’ jewellery may have been taken Gabrielle has reassured her customers that none of their jewellery which was kept in the store has been taken.

She added: “We carry out repairs and upgrades to jewellery, as well as selling items, but all items that are brought in are kept in a high-security safe, so they weren’t touched, just so none of my repair customers get into a panic.

“If anyone did see anything that night, I urge them to report it to police.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We are investigating reports of a burglary at a jewellers in High Street, Maldon.

“This was at Carlton Jewellers, at around 2am on January 1.

“Two unknown suspects are believed to have smashed a window and taken several items of jewellery believed to be rings and watches.”

Anyone with information should contact Maldon LPT on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

n POLICE are looking for three men after a theft at a cosmetics store in Maldon.

Three men entered Superdrug Store, in High Street, and took a number of cosmetics products from the shop, leaving without making an attempt to pay for them.

The incident happened at about 1.30pm on Sunday, December 3.

Anyone with information should contact Maldon police station on 101, quoting reference 42/171195/17, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.