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A RAIDER smashed his way through the counter at a jeweller's before fleeing with a haul of gems worth thousands.

The raid happened at 9am on Thursday when the man walked into Bellefontaine Jewellers on Billericay High Street.

He smashed the counter before grabbing the jewels and fleeing.

The crook had an accomplice who acted as a lookout outside the store while the raid took place.

The raider is white, of medium build and wore dark clothing, with a scarf over his face and a white Nike beanie hat.

His accomplice was a white man, aged in his 50s, with short hair, a thin face, pitted facial skin and was around 5ft 8ins tall.

Witnesses can contact police at Basildon on 101.