THREE men have been arrested after a dad died during a "hammer during robbery for his Rolex".

Shoppers were said to have watched on in horror as Darren Smith, 50, was ambushed by thugs at the Shard End shopping centre in Birmingham.

Emergency services raced to the busy area and found Darren with fatal head injuries.

He sadly couldn't be saved and was declared dead at the scene on Thursday afternoon.

A murder probe was launched and cops today revealed three men – aged 31, 35 and 53 – were arrested more than 160 miles away in Devon yesterday 

They have been brought back to a West Midlands custody block for questioning over his death.

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A force spokesperson added: "We understand he may have been the victim of a robbery but we're continuing to keep an open mind around the motive for the attack.

"We remain keen to hear from anyone with information and you contact us via 101, or Live Chat on our website, and quote log 2653 of 15 March."

Darren's heartbroken family released a tribute yesterday evening, saying his death left a "huge void" in their lives.

They said: "We as a family are devastated at the loss of our son Darren.

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"He was a caring man and was loved by all who knew him. He was tragically taken from us and this has left a huge void in our lives.

"We would ask anyone who knows or saw anything, please come forward and contact the police.

"We would now wish to be left alone so we can deal with our loss and grieve in private."

Other pals took to social media to pay tribute, with one writing: "Absolutely gutted, such a great guy."I've got so many funny memories with you Wiffa until we meet again I will treasure them. Rest in eternal peace."

Horrified shoppers claimed Darren was attacked in a broad daylight robbery for his designer timepiece, Birmingham Live reports.

One said: "A 50-year-old bloke has been attacked with a hammer or something similar for his Rolex.

"It was crazy, there were helicopters overhead and dozens of police and ambulances. All this was happening at the end of the school day.

"There were kids around, its terrible. A blue tent has since been set up. It doesn't look good."

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