Robbers armed with sledgehammers raided a Hammersmith pawnbrokers in broad daylight and stole a haul of jewellery on Tuesday.
Three men went into H&T Pawnbrokers in King Street, which is opposite the Town Hall, at about 11am and smashed open several glass cabinets.
They then ran off down Albion Mews and got in a silver Mercedes getaway car, which had been stolen from the Kensington area on Saturday, and drove down Glenthorne Road. The car is a foreign, right-hand drive model.
There were initial reports from witnesses that a gun was involved but police have categorically stated there was no firearm.
Shop staff were too shaken to talk to the Chronicle and police do not yet have descriptions of the suspects.
The incident was the third in west London in just over a week, prompting fears among traders that gangs are moving away from operating in the West End due to the success of specialist police robbery squads in that area.
On Tuesday, March 20, a gang on mopeds launched a smash-and-grab raid on the Chanel shop in Brompton Road, stealing thousands of pounds worth of handbags.
Two days later a gang, again on mopeds, targeted the Robert Tateossian jewellery store in King's Road, Chelsea.
Police say it is too early to know whether any of the crimes are linked and DS Peter Lewis, of the Notting Hill Robbery Squad, who is investigating the earlier incidents, said: "We are not aware of a significant rise in 'smash and grab' style robberies in the Chelsea area but will continue to work with the business community to provide them with crime prevention advice and reassurance."
Anyone with information on the King Street robbery, or the whereabouts of the stolen car, should call DC Harry Mckillop at the Hammersmith Robbery Squad on 020 8246 2678/79 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.