ANCIENT Roman jewellery worth more than £5,000 was stolen from a York shop by two thieves.

The men removed three pairs of earrings, a Roman necklace, gold ring, silver pendant and gold necklace on Saturday from a cabinet in Brigantia, a shop in The Red House Antique Centre in Duncombe Place.

Devastated owner Helena He has run the shop for more than 10 years and says one thief managed to unlock a cabinet and remove valuables while another acted as a look out.

One pair of earrings alone cost £595.

She said: “It’s very shocking.

“You never think it’s going to happen to you.

“Saturday is our best day for trading and there would have been a lot of people around at that time.

“They came into the room and looked around, then came back in later and went straight to the cabinet.

“One of the men looked out to see if anyone was coming and the other stood with his back to the CCTV.”

Mrs He told The Press she only realised the jewellery was missing at 5pm the same day.

She checked with the manager to find out if it had been sold, but was informed no money had been taken for the jewellery and realised it had been stolen.

She says the theft - the first in more than a decade running the shop - shows safety in York is getting worse.

Mrs He added: “It’s not normal shoplifting, they have done something to the lock and we are worried they will come back.

“We have been trading over 10 years in York and it always has been a nice place, but now I feel York has never been this unsafe.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “At about 9.55am on Saturday, two men, described as elderly, entered The Red House Antique Centre in Duncombe Place, York.

“They damaged a locked cabinet and stole a number of gold Egyptian and Roman jewellery items.

“The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information about the theft is asked to phone North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference number 12170068730.”