A BRAVE jeweller was slashed with a machete while trying to stop armed robbers from raiding his Wigan store.
Police are now hunting the masked thugs who burst into Neil Kay’s shop in the Galleries on Thursday lunchtime with a sledgehammer and a machete.
Scores of shoppers witnessed the three raiders, who were dressed in dark clothing, park an Astra on Marsden Street at around 12.30pm.
After forcing their way into the shop, one of the gang members made a deep cut into Mr Kay’s hand before they made off with tens of thousands of pounds worth of jewellery including a number of Rolex watches.
They were seen driving off in the direction of Bridgeman Terrace in a stolen Grey Vauxhall Astra.
An eyewitness said: “I’m speechless. There were so many people standing around near to the Galleries who saw the robbery I can’t believe they had the nerve to do it.”
Detective Sergeant Graham Clare from Wigan division, said: “This was a particularly violent robbery which has left the owner of the shop with severe injuries to his hands.
“He is extremely fortunate not to have sustained more serious injuries. Other staff members and customers were all left in shock and were treated by paramedics.
“These three men burst into the shop and snatched thousands of pounds worth of jewellery and watches and were seen to drive off in a grey Vauxhall Astra towards Bridgeman Terrace.
“There were a number of witnesses to this incident and I would ask anyone who witnessed the robbery or may have seen the car around the Mesnes Road / Walkden Avenue area either before or after the robbery to contact the police as soon as possible.
“I would also urge you to take a look at jewellery and watches have you may have been offered cheaply for sale.”
Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 856 7124 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.