A have-a-go hero wrestled an axe-wielding robber to the ground after a smash and grab raid near Buckingham Palace. The bystander intervened as police were called H Stain jewellers on Victoria Street, central London shortly before 1pm on Tuesday.
Four suspects - two on a moped and two on a motorcycle - had pulled up to the shop and used axes and sledgehammers to smash windows and grab items on display. As the robbers made their getaway the intrepid member of the public wrestled the moped rider to the ground by tugging on his hoodie and then handed him over to police.
The rider, a man aged 18, was arrested on suspicion of robbery and taken into custody at a central London police station. His pillion passenger was able to flee on foot into Lower Grosvenor Place, where he hailed a black cab outside the Robin Hotel and left the scene. The other two suspects got away on a green Triumph motorbike which was later found abandoned in Eaton Square, Belgravia.
They are believed to have hailed a taxi near Eccleston Mews not long after 1pm, and Flying Squad detectives said they were particularly keen to speak to cab drivers who may have picked the suspects up. The bystander, who asked not to be identified, told the Daily Telegraph it was "like watching a scene from a Guy Ritchie movie".
He said: "These guys screamed up on the scooters and two of the pillion passengers jumped off and tried to smash their way into the displays with yellow axes. I think they grabbed a few watches. "I waited for a second because I wasn't sure they had guns and when they tried to zoom off I grabbed one who was driving by the hoodie. Not putting his hoodie up was a fatal mistake as it gave me something to get hold of.
"He swore at me and I managed to yank him off his machine. I thought 'this is my bloody city - why should thugs like this get away with it?' I hope the police manage to get the rest of them."
Scotland Yard said it had no detailed descriptions of the three suspects who managed to get away, but added that they are all believed to be male and were wearing helmets and motorcycle clothing.
Any witnesses or anyone that could assist police are asked call on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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