Thieves attempted to ‘ram-raid’ a jewellers in Sheffield – but got away with nothing after the shop’s owner stood in their way.
Three man, one driving a van and two on mopeds, are reported to have smashed into The Chapel Jewellers on London Road shortly after 3pm on Wednesday afternoon (January 9).
However, thanks to the quick thinking of the owner of the business, Tracy Thackray-Howitt, the would be thieves went away empty handed.
Tracy, a regular star of popular ITV antiques programme Dickinson’s Real Deal, said that after the vehicle smashed into the shop for the first time, she stood in its way so the driver couldn’t ram it again.
She said: “They didn’t get anything. This business is my life’s work so I wasn’t scared at all. I wasn’t going to let them get away with owt.
“We have good security measures and thankfully they all worked. Everybody is fine and no one is hurt.”
Tracy also revealed that at least one of the men was wearing a balaclava, and said that the ‘family-run’ business had always assumed they would be safer thanks to their prominent position on a major road.
Police sealed off the road for around two hours, with bus services diverted and traffic at a standstill, while they conducted investigations, removed the van and cleared debris from the shop front.
Other business owners in the area spoke of their shock at witnessing the aftermath of the raid.
“I just heard the noise and the lady was screaming,” said Saqeeb Ikram, owner of the Curry Master takeaway, which is situated directly opposite the jewellers.
“I came out about 30 seconds after it happened and the car was smoking but the people had already escaped.
“The driver’s side door was open and the people from the shop were trying to close the shutters but they were stuck.”
A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police confirmed that they had received a report of a vehicle colliding with the window of a shop on London Road in Sheffield at 3.13pm.
They said no injuries had been reported and that an investigation into the circumstances of the collision was underway.