A delivery driver was hit by a car and taken to hospital and thieves then tried to loot his van for the parcels on a day of chaos on a Wigan street.
Offenders targeted the vehicle parked on Liverpool Road in Platt Bridge at around 10pm on Tuesday.
Fortunately they were disturbed by brave resident Rebecca Jones who then chased them away from the scene into a patch of nearby woodland.
She and her boyfriend Liam Holt then brought all the parcels crammed into the back of van into their own house for safekeeping and secured the vehicle in case the thieves came back.
The drama unfolded just a few hours after the driver of the white Citroen Berlingo , a man in his late 20s, had been involved in a collision with a car on the street.
He was taken to hospital by the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) at around 4.20pm on Tuesday, having suffered a back injury.
Ms Jones, 23, slammed the opportunistic thieves who had tried to help themselves to the van’s contents and hoped the injured driver would recover quickly.
She said: “It’s disgusting that this guy has been hit and people have tried to take advantage.
“We heard a loud bang. There was a lot of noise and we were curious so got up. I looked out the window and saw the window of the van had been smashed. I shouted and they ran off.
“I only saw one but I’m pretty sure there were two people breaking into the van.
“I tried to chase them. I don’t know why, adrenaline kicked in. Maybe I thought I could get hold of them and get the parcels back they had already taken.
“It was pitch black and hard to see which way they went. I then thought I was a young female in the woods in the dark and they could have had anything on them so I turned back.
“There were quite a lot of parcels, the back of the van was full. We taped up the windows and secured it as best we could.
“It was a shock, it all happened so fast. I was tossing and turning all night afterwards because I didn’t know if they had watched us taking the parcels into our house.
“I hope everyone gets their parcels and wish the guy in hospital a speedy recovery.”
Ms Jones said she saw one person wearing all black and with their face covered but thought at least one other person was involved.
She thinks the offenders were male and probably aged around their late 20s or early 30s.
A Hermes spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a Hermes courier was involved in an accident yesterday in the Wigan area, having been hit by a car whilst delivering parcels. He is currently in hospital and our thoughts and best wishes are with him and his family at this difficult time.
“Police are also investigating a subsequent break-in of the courier’s vehicle in which some items were taken.
“Customers that are affected will be contacted as soon as possible but in the meantime we would ask anyone in the area who has not received their parcel to contact their retailer or seller directly.”
Ms Jones said she and her boyfriend immediately contacted Greater Manchester Police (GMP) about the incident and received a crime reference number.
Anyone with information about this incident should ring the police on 101 or contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.