Police say four men with masked faces destroyed the inside of a jewellery store and took off with an undisclosed amount of merchandise. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC)

Saskatoon police are searching for four suspects after a downtown jewellery store was robbed and badly damaged Saturday morning. 

Police say four men with crowbars, wearing orange and white construction type jackets, entered a Birks store located in the 100 block of 3rd Avenue South at about 11 a.m.. CST. 

'I was like 'that's weird, it kind of looks like they are going to rob the place,' -  Alexis Holowatuk

It was at this time that Alexis Holowatuk was dropped off at the corner of 21st Street and 3rd Avenue South. She was on her way to work at The Local Coffee Bar.

Alexis Holowatuk

Alexis Holowatuk, 21, saw the jewellery thieves take off in a purple van. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)

As she walked down 21st Street, Holowatuk noticed two men wearing yellow, hooded sweatshirts standing outside the door of the Birks jewellery store.

"I thought maybe they were just doing some renos at the Birks building, or something," Holowatuk said. 

But when Holowatuk turned the corner onto 3rd Avenue South, she knew something was wrong.

"There were two more gentlemen at the other entrance of the Birks building, wearing yellow safety hoodies with their hoods up, and one had a crowbar!" Holowatuk said. "I was like, that's weird, it kind of looks like they are going to rob the place, I actually said that, as a joke, which is a little bit frightening that it actually happened!"

Police say the men had their faces covered with black balaclavas or scarves. 

Police say the thieves used the crowbars they carried inside to destroy display cases, causing extensive damage to the inside of the business, then took off with an undisclosed amount of jewellery from the store.

Alexis Holowatuk watched the robbers escape, and says they were inside of the store for no more than five minutes.

"They were all running into the getaway car. All four of them came out the entrance of third, and it was a purple minivan." 


Police say this van found in flames may have been used by the four suspects involved in the robbery. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC)

A short time later emergency crews responded to a van on fire in the area of Bottomley Avenue and Osler Street. Police say the van may have been used by the suspects in the robbery. 

No one was injured during the incident. 

Police are asking anyone with information about the robbery to contact them.