Handbag woman 'would hit jewellery raiders again'

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A woman who attacked robbers armed with sledgehammers as they tried to raid a Northampton jeweller's store has said she would do it again.

The footage broadcast by ITV's Anglia Tonight shows Ann Timson, who is in her 70s, jogging towards the six men as they smashed the shop's windows.

The gang, wearing motorbike helmets, drove away on scooters moments after the woman struck them with her handbag.

Northamptonshire Police have arrested four men aged between 18 and 39.

Smashing glass

Ms Timson, a retired market trader from Spring Boroughs, Northampton, said she had been shopping and was chatting to a friend in Gold Street when she heard a commotion.

She said she knew she could be in danger but decided to run across the road to help.

Start Quote

I started whacking the lads over the head with my shopping bag”

End Quote Ann Timson

In a statement issued through police, she said: "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's.

"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."

Ms Timson said she saw someone in her way on a scooter but by then "was in full flight and I started whacking the lads over the head with my shopping bag".

No-one injured

She added: "In the cold light of day, I know I put myself in danger. But I probably would do the same again."

The footage of the attempted robbery also shows other members of the public pinning down a man who had fallen from one of the scooters just yards away from the shop.

Police were called to the incident at Michael Jones Jeweller, on the corner of Gold Street and Bridge Street, at 0930 GMT on Monday.

A police spokesman said: "The offenders were disturbed by members of the public and fled the area without taking anything."

He said one man had been detained by members of the public and another three arrested by police a short time later.

The four arrested men are aged 18, 22, 25 and 39. Police are now seeking a further two other people who are believed to have been involved and have appealed for witnesses.

No-one was injured as a result of the incident.

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