Shocked Spencer Matthews is seen moments after hiding in vault of jewellers while moped gang used sledgehammers to raid store, stealing every watch except HIS
Reality television star Spencer Matthews hid in the vault of a top jewellers today while a moped gang carried out a terrifying raid on the floor above him.
The 30-year-old star revealed how The Hour House in Marylebone was ‘smashed to pieces‘ while he took cover downstairs with two friends.
Dramatic video footage filmed from across the road on Duke Street showed six people racing off on three mopeds, with two on each, at about 10.30am today.
One man who described himself as a friend of the owner told MailOnline that between £400,000 and £500,000 worth of watches were stolen in the raid.
Police arrested three men on suspicion of armed robbery, Scotland Yard confirmed this evening.
I‘m A Celebrity star Matthews revealed on Instagram that he had been at the shop picking up a vintage watch and had presumed this was taken in the raid.
But when he went back upstairs following the raid, he found the watch ‘amongst all the rubble‘, telling followers in a video: ‘If that‘s not luck, I don‘t know what is.‘
He later added that it was an ‘upsetting morning that turned into a lucky one for me‘.
He spoke this afternoon outside, saying he came to pick up a vintage 1991 Rolex Daytona Zenith stainless steel watch – worth £30,000 – when the thieves struck.
He said: ‘I heard some loud bangs, I came out and saw some gentlemen with sledgehammers just banging away, it‘s pretty alarming.
‘We ran through the shop, locked ourselves in called police no signal. They meant business these guys. They seemed like they knew what they were doing.
‘It was more menacing than anything else. They looked tall from where I was, I think in all there was six. I thought about my son, I was with him here just a few days ago.
‘I‘m absolutely fine, I‘m more concerned about the staff. I saw two men, did a 180 and thought let‘s bolt for the vault. On this occasion it wasn‘t violent but it‘s not always like that.
‘There was a moment in the vault where I thought there‘s nowhere to hide. All in all, it was quite exciting, there was no need for a coffee afterwards.
‘There was glass all over the floor – one piece was remaining and that was mine. I saw just one watch under a sheet of glass and it turned out to be mine – divine intervention perhaps?
‘Absolutely everything was gone, I was very lucky in that respect. I thought of my son and my wife. If they knew there was a vault downstairs they would have gone through us.
‘Watches can range from a couple hundred pounds to several millions of pounds. It made me think of my own company, which deals with diamonds, Eden Rocks.
‘Dino (Costas) has been broken into several times a lot of workshops at this get broken into, I want to raise awareness of it.‘
Scotland Yard said it had sent specialist firearms officers to the scene, and a man in his 30s was treated for an eye injury after the shop window was smashed.
Footage on social media showed the smashed front window of The Hour House, near Oxford Street, with an abandoned moped lying on its side on the pavement.
Men who were working close to the shop said the incident involved a group of men. One man said he saw ‘about six blokes‘, adding that one had a machete.
‘Someone went up towards him and he chased after them with a machete,‘ said the man, who asked to remain anonymous.
The whole thing lasted about three or four minutes and police arrived about five minutes after the group left, he said.
‘They got away with something. They came out with a bag,‘ he said. The man said those in the group were wearing balaclavas and helmets.
Another man, who said he knows the shop owners, said the shop was open and customers were inside at the time.
Matthews said on Instagram: ‘I just had to hide in a safe. More like a vault downstairs while this watch shop The Hour House on Duke Street got smashed to pieces by armed robbers.‘
He posted pictures on the social media site of the glass-strewn shop and smashed cabinets. Matthews described the robbers wielding ‘huge jack hammers‘.
The socialite said: ‘These guys drive a scooter through the glass and start battering the shop with hammers, big huge hammers, wearing helmets.
‘We‘re in the back of the shop looking at them, sprint downstairs, hide in the vault until all the noise passes. Come upstairs and the place is just battered. Like I mean Gonzo. All the watches gone.‘
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He and his friends began looking for the ‘vintage piece‘ that Matthews had been hoping to collect.
The 30-year-old went on: ‘We were looking around and I‘m just thinking f**king hell the thing that I‘ve been waiting for has obviously just been nicked so I‘m going to have to go and get another one.
‘Lo and behold we look around and on the floor amongst all the rubble and the glass and stuff there‘s one watch in the entire shop and it‘s mine. Now if that‘s not luck I don‘t know what is.‘
Thames Valley fire service engineer Paul Starck said he had never felt fear like that experienced when one of the men attacked his van window with a machete.
He was driving near to the shop when the group did a U-turn on the road close to him, prompting him to call the police.
‘That‘s what instigated them to have a go at me,‘ he said. Mr Starck said around five of the group went into the shop.
‘One put a sledgehammer through the window in the front first of all, then it must have been three or four of them ran inside with weapons,‘ he said, adding that the majority of the weapons were sledgehammers.
Mr Starck said he got glass in his eye during the incident. Mr Starck, 43, from Sandhurst, said one of the men came over and banged a machete against the window on the driver‘s side, smashing the glass.
‘He was trying to get through the window at me because he knew I was on the phone to police,‘ he said.
‘I‘ve never been so scared in my life. He had no care in the world, the chap. He ran after a load of people that were standing here first of all, then he went for someone in a black car that was here.
‘And then he obviously knew that I was on the phone to police and at that point I started to move off… and then he just went for me.‘
Another witness, who did not want to be named, said one member of the group rammed the front door of the shop with a scooter and then two others started banging a second door with sledgehammers.
He said one of the men chased him with a machete.
‘It‘s not every day you come to work expecting someone to come at you with a machete,‘ he said.
The man said he was told by a police officer that a moped was found abandoned in Islington, which he said is believed to be one of the mopeds used in the robbery.
He said the incident involved six men and four mopeds in total.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘Police are working at the scene of a smash and a grab at a store in Duke Street, Westminster. Officers were called at 10.32am.
‘A number of males armed with weapons are reported to have driven to the premises on mopeds and smashed a window before stealing goods and fleeing.
‘Officers attended, including specialist firearms colleagues. A man aged in his 30s has been treated for an eye injury sustained after the shop window was smashed.
‘At this stage there have been no arrests. Enquiries continue. Anyone who has information that could assist police is asked to call 101 ref CAD 2222/28 May.‘
The Hour House, which is next to Selfridges, sells vintage watches and fine jewellery, and has a VIP lounge which can be be used for private viewings and watch events.
How police are battling a moped crime epidemic across Britain
Cities in Britain have faced a moped crime epidemic in recent years with an offence being committed as often as every hour by the thugs.
Scooter yobs are grabbing people‘s phones, watches and bags, smashing their way into jewellery shops and stabbing anyone who gets in their way.
Some moped robbers have hit 30 victims in one hour alone, with those coming out of London Underground stations seen as an easy target.
Officers have also been injured by thieves riding directly into them.
Police chiefs had suspected thugs were emboldened by the mistaken belief that frontline officers were afraid to tackle them to avoid seriously injury.
But iIn an effort to cut down on the problem, police have been seen knocking moped muggers off their bikes in fresh tactics to stamp out the crimewave.
Specially trained drivers carry out ‘tactical s‘, which involve tipping crooks off their scooters or dumping them on the bonnets of police cars.
The Metropolitan Police says it has cut ‘moped-enabled crime‘ by 36 per cent in the last year, from 19,000 offences to 12,500.
Police say from January to October 2017 there were 19,455 such offences in London but from January to October 2018 this dropped to 12,419 offences.