About 200 luxury watches worth 300 million yen ($3.2 million) have been stolen from a jewellery shop in Tokyo’s upscale Ginza district, police said on Saturday.

Investigators discovered a 16 to 20 inch (40 to 50 cm) hole in one of the store’s walls through which the watches are believed to have been removed, said Shinya Watanabe, a spokesman for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.

It was unclear when the theft occurred, though a security guard monitoring the store Friday afternoon did not notice anything unusual, he said. Police had no witnesses but were interviewing employees at neighbouring stores for possible leads.

“Whoever did this bored a hole into a concrete wall,” Watanabe said. “The noise must have been quite loud.”

The store, Tenshodo, is located in the heart of Ginza, the busiest high-end shopping district in Tokyo. It was founded in 1879 and sells jewellery and luxury watches such as Rolex, Chopard and Piaget.

Saturday was the start of the New Year sale season, when bargain hunters flock to department stores and shops offering big discounts. A block from Tenshodo, customers lined up at Mitsukoshi department store waiting for its 10 a.m. opening.

Last February, 50 million yen ($540,000) in jewellery was stolen from another Ginza store through a hole in a concrete wall. Police said it was not clear whether the two thefts were linked.

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