A woman's being hailed a hero for stepping in during an armed robbery at a jeweller's and attacking six sledgehammer-wielding robbers with her handbag!
Ann Timson - who's in her 70s and who used to work as a market trader in Northampton - managed to stop the break-in at Michael Jones Jewellers (pictured below) in the town on Monday morning, after she mistakenly thought she was helping break up a fight.
Ann's heroics were captured on film.
Watch the dramatic footage here
“I’d been shopping in the town and was on my way down Gold Street when I met a friend and stopped to have a chat.
“I became aware of a loud revving noise at the top of the street. I looked over and saw a kid run up to the doorway of the jeweller which is on the corner of Bridge Street.
“Three lads followed him and when I saw their arms going I thought the kid was being beaten up.
“My mother’s instinct kicked in and I ran across the road shouting at the lads to stop it.
“Only then did I realise that they were smashing glass and that it was a raid.
“There was a scooter in my path revving up but by now I was in full flight and I started whacking the lads over the head with my shopping bag.
“Passers by didn’t come to my assistance to begin with. I was amazed at that, but they all seemed mesmerised.
“A lot were standing there filming or taking photos and I wonder whether more people didn’t intervene because they thought the raid was being mocked up.
“In the cold light of day, I know I put myself in danger. But I probably would do the same again.
“My red coat has now been packed away for the winter and my red hair is being dyed green. And my black shopping bag is having a rest today, to give it time to recover from its bruises!”
Sarah-Jane Brown, who works at a salon next door to the jewellers, told Heart:
"We expected her to be quite shakey or scared. We brought her in to the salon to make her a cup of tea and get her to sit down and see if she was alright. But she wasn't scared at all. In fact she was probably more concerned about us because we were all so scared and shakey."
Robert White is a co-owner of the jewellers that was targetted:
"She's a very brave woman, there aren't many people out there who would have done that. Very brave thing. It wasn't happening right next to her. You see from the footage that she comes maybe 15 or 20 yards up the road and she's swinging hell for leather."
Deputy Chief Constable Suzette Davenport said:
“I have today met with Ann and, on behalf of the Force, thanked her for what she did.
“She demonstrated true community spirit in wanting to help others but we should acknowledge that this did involve a clear element of risk.”
Four men arrested in connection with the robbery have now all been charged with robbery and theft of motor vehicle offences.
The four men - aged 18, 22, 25 and 39 and all from the London area - are due to appear before Northampton magistrates tomorrow morning (Wednesday).
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