Passers-by take on Welwyn Garden City gem shop raider

HAVE-A-GO heroes were attacked by a sledgehammer-wielding thief as they thwarted a daylight armed raid on a jewellery shop.

The bandit, who was joined by a getaway driver on a motorbike, swung for the two passers-by who tried to stop the duo from breaking into Godshaw Jewellers, in WGC on Monday afternoon.

One of the helpers, a WGC man, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “First of all I heard the loud revving of a high powered bike, so I went to see what was going on.

“It was on the pavement and the next thing I know one of the men has jumped off and smashed the glass with a sledgehammer.

“I didn’t put two and two together at first; people were screaming and running.”


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The Sweeney Gas worker, who was shaken after the 3.30pm raid, added: “I then saw another chap trying to stop them.

“The thief swung at him so I ran over as I didn’t want to see an old man get battered with a sledgehammer and I wanted to put them off.

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“As I approached the thief swung for me as well and then I think they realised it was two on two so they made a getaway.

“When they started to drive off down the pavement, I kicked the bike and then they dropped the sledgehammer in the bushes by John Lewis.

“Looking back now it might not have been the wisest thing to do, but you just don’t have time to think; it happened so quickly.”

Vaughan Spreckley, one of the directors at the Wigmores North shop, thanked those who helped.

He added: “As soon as I realised we brought down the shutters, because they don’t want to be stuck behind there.

“We’re not sure yet as to whether they got anything, because they managed to pierce the glass.”

Mr Spreckley said: “This kind of thing seems to happen quite a lot in London at the moment.

“And this must be about the third or fourth time its happened here. After 30 years in the trade you get very used to it, so I am quite philosophical about it now.

“It’s just very inconvenient especially at this time of the year, but the main thing is that no-one got hurt.”

Anyone with information should call police on 0845 33 00 222.

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