Police have launched a large scale investigation after cars were set alight and two jewellery stores were raided in Watford town centre last night.

This morning forensic officers and fire investigators were working on a burned out Audi A5 in Queens Road and Nissan hatchback in nearby Gladstone Road.

The charred remains of the vehicles are a stone’s throw away from intu Watford shopping centre where police are investigating two break-ins on jewellery stores.

Detectives are working on the understanding the car arsons and raids maybe linked.

This morning the entrance to the southern end of the centre, from the alleyway between High Street and The Broadway, was shuttered.

The walkway round the back of the Gordon Scott shoe store was cordoned off and a number of umbrellas were also discarded in the bushes nearby.

Inside the centre the ground floor luxury Swiss watch shop, Tag Heuer, had had one of its front windows smashed with a sledge hammer, which was dumped nearby, and items taken from its display.

The Earnest Jones jewellery store on 1st floor was also raided and is cordoned off.

The rest of the centre is open for business today.