Cartier offers reward for information on $5.5 million of stolen jewelry

Cartier is offering a $103,000 reward after a $5.5 million dollar raid at an airport warehouse in Essex, England, the BBC reported.

It is one of the largest jewel thefts in British history, according to British police and published reports.

Thieves escaped with 1,726 items, mainly watches, in the robbery at Rochford on 21 May.

Details of the robbery have only just been released, the BBC reported Wednesday, as police were working with Cartier on a possible lead. A man working at the warehouse was bound, beaten, and left with serious injuries during the raid, the BBC reported.

Acting Detective Inspector John Kreyling told the BBC that the robbery had not been publicized while investigations were carried out with the company which it was hoped would solve the crime.

“Officers have been working closely with Cartier on some sensitive inquiries which it was hoped would lead to a speedy detection,” he said. “This has however now been ruled out and a decision has been made to appeal for public assistance.”

Thieves escaped with gold and silver watches valued between $4,000 and $16,500 each. They also made off with an expensive brooch and a number of Cartier leather belts.

The robbers are thought to have used a white truck and a forklift to move the cartons, which were packed onto eight pallets, the BBC reported.

“Without question we are talking about a major organized robbery,” Kreyling told the BBC. “Nothing but Cartier jewelry was stolen although all the items were in unmarked boxes. There are people within the criminal fraternity who will be aware that this robbery has taken place. Lots of people will have knowledge. We are hoping that someone will come forward.

A 19-year old man who was arrested and questioned about the robbery has been released without charge.