Audacious thieves made off with £4,500 worth of gold jewellery in a raid on cabinets in Banbury Antiques Centre, Wardington – during opening hours.
Police have issued an appeal for information into the theft which the jewellery owners believe took place between 4pm and 5pm on Saturday.
Officers say two locked glass cabinets were forced open and items stolen. The haul included a number of gold rings, necklaces and watches.
The owner of the items. Judy Moyle, said: “The cabinets were broken into by someone using a jemmy or a screwdriver.
“We did not realise the theft had happened until we went in at 10.30am on Sunday and found the cabinet doors open and the jewellery gone.
“We were told one of the staff took an item out of one of the cabinets at 3.40pm so it must have happened after then.”
Proprietor Peter Appleton said: “It is highly regrettable and a shame that the security of the trader’s cabinet was not better.
“Unfortunately [the trader] is legally responsible for the security of his own cabinets and it was very easy in this case for someone to open it and take the valuables. This could have been avoided”.
It is understood some 72 traders rent selling space at the antiques centre. Staff transact sales in the absence of the owners.
Mrs Moyle had four cabinets containing saleable items.
Anyone with information should call 101 quoting reference 43170373583 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.