Burglary detectives investigate ‘gang link’

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DETECTIVES investigating a jewellery store burglary have said they are probing a possible link to an alleged Romanian organised crime group.

Ernest Jones, in Cascades Shopping Centre, Portsmouth, was raided with £57,000 worth of high-value watches taken.

Now detectives in Staffordshire say they are looking at the Portsmouth burglary and other similar incidents across the country.

A spokesman for the force said: ‘No-one has as yet been charged with the Portsmouth incident.’

It comes after thieves set fires at the back of the shopping centre in Portsmouth at around 3am on July 26.

Sledgehammers were seen at the store after the raid, and nearby shop Wallis was also damaged.

At the time a Hampshire police spokeswoman said: ‘Four men were seen to enter the shopping centre, via Charlotte Street.

‘The men stole £57,000 worth of jewellery from Ernest Jones, before exiting the shopping centre via the Wallis store, on to Commercial Road.

‘In total at least seven people are believed to have been involved in this incident.’

Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or Staffordshire police on 101, asking for the force.