Witness chased jewellery thief

STEVE HOPKINS
Last updated 15:35 28/11/2012
Partridge Jewellers
JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax Media

AFTERMATH: Workers clear up the mess after a robbery at Partridge Jewellers.

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A witness to a jewellery store robbery yesterday has told how he chased one of the offenders from the store then helped comfort one of the ''shaken'' staff.

About 11am yesterday three, possibly four, offenders entered Partridge Jewellers on Broadway, Newmarket armed with hammers.

A police spokeswoman said the group smashed display cases and then raided the contents, making off with thousands of dollars' worth of jewellery including high end watches. 

"This was a fairly brazen act in a very busy shopping precinct during a busy time of the day,'' the spokeswoman said. The store manager, two assistants and three customers were in the shop at the time of the heist.

A man who was walking past the store at the time said he knew something was wrong when he noticed shattered glass outside the jewellers and ''everyone was running away from it''.

The man, who didn't want to be named, said he saw a male staff member standing with his hands in the air in the shop, before catching a glimpse of one of the offenders running down a corridor behind the shop to the corner of Bourke and Eden streets. 

Along with another witnesses he gave chase, running into a nearby car parking building, but there was no ''sight of them''.

The man believes the thieves must have had a getaway car waiting nearby.

He described the man he saw as stocky and wearing a black bandanna covering his face. 

The man said he didn't think twice about giving chase as he had ''the adrenalin going'' and was confident in dangerous scenarios, having previously trained against police Armed Offenders Squad members in airsoft shooting exercises.

When the man returned to the shop he said lots of ''soccer mums'' were standing around and phoning police. 

He said one of the staff from the jewellery store was ''pretty shaken'' and he helped calm her down. 

Police today said they had no new information on the robbery. 

Anyone with information about the thieves is asked to contact Glen Innes CIB.

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