DIARY: Thieves show eye for a bargain in Argos raid

There are not many places in the world where you can buy things to show your loved ones how much you care and at such a cost-effective price as Elizabeth Duke.

Since the closure of Gerald Ratner's emporia, where else could you find such a beautiful thing to commemorate your mother's incarceration in HMP Holloway as a nine-carat-gold "I love Mum" diamond-cut link bracelet for £34.99?

What about the antiques of the future, such as the pair of sterling silver Barbie butterfly studs that would make an ideal birthday gift for baby Frogmella to cherish and treasure, for less than eight quid?

Yes, forget Tiffany's - so last decade. We have lots to thank Elizabeth Duke, the in-house Argos bauble and trinket expert, for.

However, in scenes reminiscent of the attempted diamond heist at the Millennium Dome, wrongdoers recently smashed in the window of an Argos store and made off with Duke's entire display.

As if this heinous crime were not bad enough, the thieves chose a branch that was halfway through being used by Euro RSCG London to shoot an ad for the Duke range.

With all the beautiful things gone and the authorities alerted, the mood was not lifted by one agency wag, who was heard to say: "What, they've stolen the entire window display? All two hundred quid's worth?"