TWO armed robbers smashed their way into a Wigan jewellery store using a sledgehammer and an axe.
The attempted robbery happened at the Uncle Jewellers and Pawn Brokers on Chapel Street in Pemberton, Wigan just before 1.30pm Saturday.
The two offenders pulled up outside the store on a motorbike, got off and charged into the shop brandishing the sledgehammer and the axe. One of the thieves used the hammer to smash through the internal wooden door while the other used the axe to smash the security glass.
However, a brave member of staff who was on duty at the time managed to hold the two thieves back by barricading the door, and pushed one of the would-be thieves back through the broken security window.
They then got back onto the bike and rode off empty-handed, but not before threatening a startled member of the public with the axe.
Officers are now appealing to anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.
Detective Constable Kevin Telford said: “This attempted robbery happened in the middle of the day, in broad daylight, on a busy Saturday afternoon in Pemberton town centre.
“It caused a lot of commotion and I have no doubt there are lots of potential witnesses who saw what happened and could have vital information for us. We have obtained a large number of names of members of the public present in the area at the relevant time but I would ask for those people who have not yet spoken to police to contact us.
“There was a very similar robbery at Neil Kay’s Jewellers in Wigan town centre last week, where again the offenders used a motorbike and a sledgehammer to try and steal jewellery, so we are looking into whether these two incidents are linked.
“The shop worker showed incredible bravery in the face of adversity to hold these two thieves back and I would like to commend them for their actions.
“We now need to find those responsible so I would again urge anyone who witnessed this appalling attempted robbery to come forward.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.