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2 arrested over US$66-million British jewel heist

TWO men are in custody in connection with one of Britain's biggest jewel heists, British police said today.

London's Metropolitan Police said two men were arrested yesterday by the Barnes Flying Squad, a specialist unit that deals with armed robberies and high value thefts.

Police launched a massive search after two well-dressed men walked into a central London jewelry store Aug. 6 armed with handguns and stole dozens of rings, bracelets, necklaces and watches with a retail value of 40 million pounds, or US$66 million.

They pulled out two handguns in the shop and ordered a woman staff member to put 43 items of jewelry in a bag. As the robbers left, they fired at a security guard before getting into a blue BMW, passing a package to a motorcyclist, then crashing into a taxi nearby.

They fired a second shot as bystanders attempted to intervene, before getting into a silver Mercedes and then a minivan.

Police said they are looking for at least four people in connection with the the robbery - the two men who raided the store, the driver of the BMW and the motorcyclist. They would not say how the arrested men are believed to be connected to the crime.


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