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Gems shop boss beats off axe-wielding masked raiders
A jeweller bravely chased an axe-wielding robber from his shop during a city centre lunchtime raid in which Rolex watches and diamond rings were stolen.
Christmas shoppers were stunned when two men in balaclava masks and white boiler suits charged into Sydney The Jewellers shortly before noon yesterday.
Business owner Jeff Frankel was alone in the shop when the raiders struck.
He said: “I was in the shop when the door was flung open and there were two people in balaclavas and white suits, like boiler suits.
“One had an axe and he came up to me at the end of the shop saying ‘stay back, stay back’. Fortunately, I’m a baseball fan and had a bat here so I went after him and he ran out of the shop.
“What I didn’t know, was that there was another guy in the shop in the window taking stuff.”
Mr Frankel chased the armed man out of the shop and shut the door to keep him out.
“He was hitting the axe at it, trying to get back in,” he said.
“The next thing, the guy in the window, that I didn’t know was there, came up behind me, threw me on the floor then ran off.”
Mr Frankel, who has been at the Rawson Road shop for 40 years, said he suffered some scratches and bruises and was “shaken, but not stirred” by the incident.
“The adrenalin was pumping,” he added.
The men fled with six second-hand Rolex watches and five diamond rings and the door’s glass panel was cracked from the axe attack.
Four hours later the shop was re-opened, with a sign in the window explaining the lack of stock and Mr Frankel vowing not to let his customers down.
“There were a lot of witnesses, some of them were brilliant. One went off and got me a cup of sweet tea, another stayed about an hour and went to the police station,” Mr Frankel said.
He said a third man had been waiting in the street in a getaway car.
Mr Frankel said: “They’re cowards. Total cowards, inconsequential louts, and they deserve to be put inside somewhere and the key thrown.
He added that people in the street would have been scared by the attack.
He said: “To frighten people and do things like this – literally the key needs to be thrown when they’re caught.”
A police spokesman said officers were called by a member of the public to reports of two men trying to rob a shop.
The getaway car, a blue Volkswagen Golf convertible, was found nearby. Officers were last night taking statements from several witnesses and said no arrests had yet been made.
Mr Frankel said police arrived at the scene within three or four minutes and added: “I’d just like to thank everybody that offered to help me.”