The gang of four men used sledgehammers on the shop window of Leslie Davis jewellers and escaped on scooters at around 10am on Tuesday morning.

After the smashed window set off security smoke screens within the shop the gang were prevented from taking more than just a few handfuls of watches. They split up into two groups and headed off in opposite directions down Europe’s busiest shopping high street. The whole episode lasted just 2 minutes, leaving nearby shoppers shocked.

Footage taken on a mobile phone shows a member of the public trying to kick the raiders from their motor scooters. A blue plastic box was also thrown at the theives as they made a speedy escape.

The raid took place just across the road from where Christmas number one chart hopefuls, the Military Wives choir, were performing in HMV.