POLICE are hunting a man in a crash helmet who stole a large amount of jewellery from a town store on Monday.

The incident happened at Bradley's Jewellers in Northallerton, North Yorkshire.

The Northern Echo:

Police were called to the shop on Market Row at 10.08am.

A North Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "Police in Northallerton have issued an urgent appeal after a man wearing a boiler suit and crash helmet entered Bradley's jewellers in Barker's Arcade (Market Row) at around 10am this morning and stole a large amount of jewellery. 

"The man then ran off down the arcade and into the Applegarth where he rode off on a bicycle towards Applegarth Primary School.

"Police are appealing to anyone who was in the area at the time and saw a man dressed in a boiler suit and crash helmet, either before or after the incident or saw him riding a bike in Northallerton to contact them.

"Police are currently searching for the man.

"Anyone who believes they have seen him or can help identify him is asked to contact police on 999 with an immediate sighting or 101 with any other information. Incident number 107 of today."

The Northern Echo:

A nearby shop owner who didn't want to be named said she was upstairs in her shop when it happened and she didn't know anything until a customer came in and told her that the jewellers had been robbed.

She said: "It's not the sort of thing that you expect to happen in Northallerton.

"You hear about it in the bigger places but you don't expect it in a small town like this. They must have just walked in and grabbed stuff. You could see there was a mess of jewellery at the front of the shop."

Another nearby trader said: "I just feel for the staff. It's an awful thing to happen. There are people out there who do horrible things and I don't think they realise the effect that they have on people's lives." 

The Northern Echo:

The store was targeted in a previous raid in June 2012.

Shoppers were stunned after axe-wielding robbers staged the daylight robbery while the town was busy with people shopping and families enjoying their half-term holiday.

On that occasion, it is believed they escaped with jewellery, before driving off in a red van later found abandoned behind South Parade, in the town.

Staff in the shop were said to be shaken, but unhurt.

The arcade was cordoned off while police conducted their investigation.

A spokesman said at the time: “The occupants of the shop were very shocked and distressed.

"Thankfully, it appears nobody has been seriously injured.