Caught on CCTV: Shocking moment axe-wielding armed robbers on mopeds tried to smash their way into London jewellery shop … but were foiled by quick-thinking staff
· Gang of six on three mopeds drove at West End store, ramming the doors
· They hit the doors with a sledgehammer and an axe repeatedly
· One sprayed noxious liquids at passers by - injured security guard
· Staff managed to get the security gates down, and the gang fled
· Gang failed to steal anything, but did thousands of pounds of damage
· One of the raiders is thought to have been carrying a handgun
· As they left Watches of Switzerland, gang almost knocked down pedestrians
Armed robbers have been caught on CCTV trying to smash their way into a watch shop in a brutal heist using an axe and a sledgehammer, which ended in failure when the staff shut the security gates.
The criminals attempted to bash into Watches of Switzerland using a moped, a sledgehammer and an axe after riding up to the shop on New Bond Street on a moped.
One of the criminals also sprayed people with a noxious liquid, thought to be ammonia, which injured one of the guards in the store.
The gang rolls up the pavement on New Bond Street, with one of the members disembarking and brandishing an axe, ready to hit the store's doors. One of the raiders (centre) appears to be pointing a handgun.
Centre, the raider with the axe begins smashing at the shopfront, as the raider with the sledgehammer and what appears to be a handgun heads towards the doors
At about 11.05 am, the gang, consisting of six men on three mopeds, rode down from Oxford Street in London's West End toward the store.
One of the mopeds mounted the pavement and headed toward the shop, while the other two followed shortly after they reached the junction on Derring Street.
They rode up at speed, scatting passers by on the pavement.
When they reached the store, the raiders rammed the door with a moped, and hit it with the axe and the sledgehammer repeatedly.
One man took to spraying passers-by who got too close with the noxious liquid, eventually injuring a guard.
The attempted criminals begin to make their escape, nearly knocking over several people on the way out of the street
One of the raiders is also believed to have been carrying a handgun throughout the raid, which can be seen in the CCTV images.
Eventually the staff managed to operate the security shutters and lock the gang out, causing them to flee.
As they fled on their three mopeds, they nearly knocked over members of the public.
Nothing was stolen from the store, but the security guard is currently in hospital with potentially life-changing injuries, and several thousand pounds worth of damage was done to the store.
The incident is being investigated by Flying Squad officers of the London Metropolitan Police based at Putney, in south west London.