VIDEO 6PM - Fresh appeal after Harrogate armed robbery

Detectives investigating after armed robbers struck in Harrogate are appealing for any mobile phone footage from witnesses.

Balaclava-clad robbers smashed their way into Fattorini’s jewellery store on Parliament Street at around 8.35 this morning, when the busy town centre street was packed with people.

They fled the scene empty handed when staff set off the alarms, abandoning a grey van which was used as a getaway car in nearby Valley Road.

Police believe some people may have seen what happened, and are appealing for them to get in touch.

“Lots of people have already made contact with us,” said Det Insp Nichola Holden, of Harrogate CID.

“But we ask anyone with information - even things they might not think are relevant - to get in touch.”

The robbers forced down the door as they smashed their way into the upmarket jewellery store as staff were opening up this morning.

They abandoned their attempt when staff sounded the alarm, the shop reportedly filling with clouds of white powder as sirens sounded.

Police say they fled the scene by driving the wrong way down an alley off Parliament Street, leaving the van on a quiet residential cul-de-sac before fleeing to Leeds.

It is the second time robbers have struck at Fattorini’s in the past two years.

In March 2012, robbers wearing balaclavas forced down the door with a sledgehammer - again abandoning the car on Valley Mount.

“At this time we’ve got no information to suggest the crimes are linked,” said Det Insp Holden. “Police are aware of it and we will be reviewing this as a line of enquiry.”

And, she said, while this was a serious crime, communities and residents should be reassured that this wasn’t an everyday occurrence in Harrogate.

“Naturally, it can be very worrying,” she said. “It’s not something that happens every day in Harrogate.

“We will be increasing patrols. Harrogate is a very safe place to live. We want to reassure communities and businesses that this is a very rare occurrence.”