Caught on Tape: Boyds Smash and Grab

It took 28 seconds for robbers to make off with fancy watches worth $500,000

It was smack in the middle of the afternoon and in the middle of Center City and they weren't there for the 50-percent off sale. Four masked men with hammers busted into Boyds, the upscale department store on Chestnut and 18th Streets.

Twenty-eight seconds later, after holding a gun to the security guard's head, they made off with 16 expensive watches worth about $500,000, said police. They also maced the guard and a woman who works at the store.

A surveillance camera caught the smash and grab:

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Two robbers came into the store first and took care of the security guard. Then the other two thieves walked in with hammers, smashed open a display case and grabbed the watches.

All four men made their escape down Chestnut in a car that was waiting right outside. The car was a dark-colored, four-door sedan.

Some employees ran for cover leaving shoppers stranded in the store. Police had to rescue them from locked rooms.

"We had several calls for individuals locked in several different rooms within the building," said Capt. Dennis Wilson. "We searched, found them and brought them out."

If you crunch the numbers, the watches are worth an average of $31,000 and Boyds lost $17,857 for every second the robbers spent in the store.

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