The Swiss police are searching for three men who stole a large amount of cash, jewelry and precious stones during a daylight robbery in Zurich. The suspects fled on foot after threatening staff with a gun.
Police launched an intensive search for the perpetrators on Saturday, deploying officers with rifles and body armor in the city center, according to pictures published by the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger. The online news portal Blick.ch published photos of the suspects on its site (photo) and Zurich police posted one of the photos on their social media site:
According to officials, the three unidentified men entered the Harry Hofmann jewelry store in downtown Zurich around lunchtime and held up two employees with a handgun. They proceeded to take valuables, gems and bills with a total value of over a million Swiss Francs ($1 million) before fleeing the store on foot.
The two store employees, a man and a woman, were not harmed.
Echoes of Düsseldorf
The authorities described two of the suspects as tall, wearing trimmed beards, and speaking broken German. They provided no description of the third man.
Online news portal Blick.ch reported on a possible link between Saturday's robbery in Zurich and a heist in Düsseldorf last year, when a man stole over a dozen rare watches with a total value of over half a million euros ($566,000).
According to an unnamed source and surveillance videos, the Düsseldorf robber might match the description of one of the Zurich suspects. No one has been arrested for the robbery in Germany.
The Harry Hofmann store in Zurich is renowned for buying and selling exclusive and antique jewelry as well as precious stones.
Authorities have called for possible witnesses of the Saturday heist to come forward.
dj/jm (AP, dpa)