A HAMPSHIRE jeweller has been targeted in an audacious ram raid this morning.

The lorry reversed through the front of Parkhouse The Jeweller in Above Bar Street, Southampton.

The lorry's trailer ploughed through the front and the ripped out the window.

The thief then stole watches from the Rolex display at the front of the store.

The cab of the lorry was then driven away from the scene as the thief made their getaway.

A police area car then went after the driver of the lorry but was rammed in Shirley Avenue.

Officers then managed to get out and arrest the man and are understood to have recovered a quantity of watches.

The whole incident from raid to arrest happened in just nine minutes.

The white Mercedes cab of the lorry was found in Vincent Road, which links Howard Grove with Shirley Avenue, in Shirley.

The cab was put on the back of a recovery vehicle but just behind, opposite a car park, was a police car which had its front smashed in.

Above Bar Street was closed to traffic and a cordon set up around the shop and the trailer.

Dozens of onlookers took photographs of the scene while two police officers stood guard outside the front of the store with more dotted around the cordon.

Phillip Jackson, 25, from Dibden, a crew member at Burger King in the High Street, said:  “All I saw was the back of the lorry and the white cab drove away.

"I thought there was an accident and it had been told to move out of the way of traffic.”

Meanwhile Charmaine Smith, 23, from Merryoak, a foot care assistant at Shuropody in Above Bar Street, added:  “He was reversing and went through the window.

"He moved forward and out of the cab and walked around. He took his clips off the back of the lorry and unclipped it from the cab.

"He got back in and sped up the road and through the traffic lights.

“I just heard a smash to start with. Then I looked out of the window and saw it.

"I was worried about the staff in the jewellers it just looked like an accident to start with then he drove off.”