A jeweller from Wolverhampton today spoke of the dramatic moment his store was raided, leaving him terrified and unable to sleep.
Ashok Khurmi, owner of Ashoka Jewellers in Newhampton Road West, was dealing with a customer when masked raiders dressed in boiler suits struck.
The gang of three men used lump hammers to smash a window at the front of the store and made off with £600 of silver jewellery from the display cabinet.
It triggered the shop’s alarms and the men fled in the direction of nearby Hordern Road.
The entire raid, which took place at around 12.45pm yesterday, happened in just 25 seconds.
Mr Khurmi, aged 57, from Tettenhall, today said he watched the raid unfold on his CCTV camera in the back room of his shop with a customer.
“It was a terrible shock, the whole thing was absolutely terrifying,” he said.
“I was talking to a customer at the front desk when I heard a loud bang.
“I quickly went into the back room with the customer and we locked the door and watched the CCTV screen.
“It was incredible, everything was over in just a few seconds.”
Mr Khurmi says the raid had left him contemplating the future of his store.
“It makes me feel like closing down for good,” he added.
“I couldn’t sleep last night because I am worried that this sort of thing could happen again in the future.
“I feel in constant danger in this area and I am asking myself whether it is worth taking the risk just to try and make a living.”
Mr Khurmi also revealed his shop has been targetted four times during the course of the past three years.
In October 2010 three axe-wielding robbers took a substantial amount of jewellery from the business, while the shop was also ransacked during the riots in 2011.
“I have had this shop since 1989, but the crime has got out of control in the last few years,” he said.
“People in the community helped me to clean up the mess after the damage caused in the riots, but the crime seems to be getting worse in this area.
“It has got so bad that I no longer display any of the valuable jewellery in the front window of the shop because I fear that someone will try and steal it.”
Detectives are investigating and anyone with information should call Wolverhampton Police on 101.