A 'HIGHLY skilled' crew of thieves stole more than £40,000 of jewellery in a late night heist.

The gang broke in through the ceiling of the H. Samuel store at The Fort retail park in Cheetham Hill and then abseiled 40ft down lines to reach the shop floor.

Police were called to the shop at around 2.40am yesterday after the daring raid was discovered.

It was found that the thieves had smashed glass display cabinets to steal the jewellery, worth between £40,000-£80,000.

DC Atkinson from GMP’s City of Manchester Team called the burglary "well-planned" and said the thieves knew "exactly what they were doing.

He said: “We have launched an investigation and we encourage anyone with information to come forward, these offenders were highly skilled, someone must know something about their plans.

“A large quantity of jewellery has been stolen and we would like any information that would assist with the investigation.”

Officers are now appealing for potential witnesses.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 0161 856 1146 or 101 quoting the reference number 238 of 25/06/19.

Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.