Is axe-wielding gem raider a woman?

A robber wielding an axe and a sledgehammer during an armed robbery in Pemberton - is it a woman?
A robber wielding an axe and a sledgehammer during an armed robbery in Pemberton - is it a woman?
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POLICE are attempting to work out if an axe-wielding jewellery store raider caught on video is actually a woman.

Incredible footage sent to the Evening Post shows a pair of would-be robbers smashing their way into Uncles Jewellers in Chapel Street, Pemberton, armed with an axe and a sledgehammer.

Other people who have seen the video have all commented they think the one with the axe is a woman

The 38-year-old man behind the camera – who did not want to be named – stepped in and tried to ward off the duo, only for one of them, wearing a bikers’ helmet and a hi-vis jacket to head straight for him.

Our witness, was at England Butchers, in Chapel Street, on Saturday afternoon, when he looked outside and saw two people on a motorbike carrying a sledgehammer and axe enter the jeweller and pawnbroker next door.

One of the robbers used the hammer to smash through the internal wooden door while the other used the axe to smash the security glass.

However, co-owner of the store, Mark Winnard, 55, managed to hold the two thieves back by barricading the door, and pushed one of the would-be thieves back through the broken security window.

They then got back onto the bike and rode off empty-handed.

Mr Winnard said: “It all happened so quick, I was on adrenaline so you don’t stop to think about your own safety.

“I stopped him getting in and pushed him back through the door. He must have been waving an axe at everyone outside.

“I want to say thank you to the person who stepped in.”

The onlooker said: “I saw a motorbike go past on the footpath with no registration number. I saw one had a sledgehammer over their shoulder and they ran into the jewellers.

“I had my three-year-old son with me, so I told the lady behind the counter to look after him and call the police and I left the butchers and ran over.

“The robbers were trying to break the glass cabinets and I shouted at them to get out.

“The owner of the shop pushed one guy and they went flying out and one came at me with an axe,

“I didn’t really feel anything other than thinking I needed to get out but I was scared.

“It was all over in seconds – it all went crazy.

“I managed to film it on my phone as they started smashing the glass, so I handed this to the police.

“Other people who have seen the video have all commented they think the one with the axe is a woman.”

And police have not ruled out the pair being Wigan’s own Bonnie and Clyde-style robbers on the run.

Officers are now appealing to anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward and are studying the video evidence in close detail.

DC Kevin Telford said: “This attempted robbery caused a lot of commotion and I have no doubt there are lots of potential witnesses who saw what happened and could have vital information for us.

“We have obtained a large number of names of members of the public present in the area at the relevant time but I would ask for those people who have not yet spoken to police to contact us.

“The shop worker showed incredible bravery in the face of adversity to hold these two thieves back and I would like to commend them for their actions. I would also like to thank the member of the public who was brave enough to take photos of the offenders, although we would obviously never advise people to put themselves in danger to do so in any similar situation.

“There was a very similar robbery at Neil Kay’s Jewellers in Wigan town centre last week, where again the offenders used a motorbike and a sledgehammer to try and steal jewellery, so we are looking into whether these two incidents are linked.

“We now need to find those responsible so I would again urge anyone who witnessed this appalling attempted robbery to come forward.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.