POLICE hunting armed raiders who robbed a North-East jewellers in broad daylight have appealed for help to catch the thieves.

A four man gang using a sledgehammer and machete smashed windows at D&H Jewellers, in Queen Street shopping centre, in Darlington, just before 5pm on Friday, November 9.

The robbers, wearing balaclavas and tracksuits, threatened staff before making off with valuables believed to include Rolex watches.

No one was hurt in the robbery.

The gang ran from the shopping arcade into a waiting VW Touran van, parked in Commercial Street, which was dumped just minutes later in Dodds Street, Darlington.

The men transferred into a silver Ford Focus, which was later found abandoned in a field in Barton, North Yorkshire.

Detective Inspector Phil Curtis, from Darlington CID, yesterday (November 15) said officers were chasing a number of leads, but urged people who may have information to come forward.

He said: “We would like to speak to any witnesses who saw anything suspicious in the shopping arcade or in Dodds Street or anyone who saw a vehicle driving erratically from Commercial Street and into Woodland Road just before 5pm.”

Detectives previously confirmed they had reviewed CCTV footage and had carried out forensic examinations on the Ford Focus and the VW Touran, which has the registration number MM07 XAL.

Anyone with information about the robbery or who may have seen the vehicles is asked to call police on 101.