Coventry & Warwickshire

'Shakespeare's ghost' chases armed robbers after Stratford-upon-Avon jewellery raid

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Media captionJohn Jarvis chased the robbers down the street

A Shakespeare street performer chased armed raiders through the historic town of Stratford-upon-Avon after they had robbed a jewellers.

Staff inside Christopher Poel jewellers watched as three men, two armed with sledgehammers and one with a crowbar, smashed windows and stole watches.

They fled when shopkeepers threw chairs at them, with "Shakespeare's ghost" performer John Jarvis in pursuit.

He said he brought one man to the floor but the trio eventually escaped.

The robbery happened at about 11:15 BST in Meer Street.

More updates on this and other stories in Coventry and Warwickshire

Image caption The robbery occurred at about 11:15 BST
Image caption Warwickshire Police deployed its helicopter to search for the men

Shop owner Christopher Poel said: "Apparently there were three men, two with sledge hammers and one with a crowbar. They were attacking the window in unison. They badly damaged the glass.

"They got a number of high-value watches but I don't know how many yet.

'Swinging a crowbar'

"We're talking tens of thousands of pounds. Luckily everyone was inside, they only attacked from the outside. There are a couple of staff here and they're really shaken. It's the shock of it."

Mr Jarvis, who dresses in a white costume for his street performance in the town, said he saw three lads "whack" the shop's window "grab a few bits" then run and he gave chase.

"One of them was swinging a crowbar - I took a whack at him, because I don't like having a crowbar swung at me," he said.

"He went down there. They carried on running."

He said a "young lad" then also gave chase and Mr Jarvis carried on in case anything happened to him.

Image caption John Jarvis, in costume, tells police what he saw
Image copyright Kerry McGinty
Image caption Shop owner Christopher Poel said two staff members were "really shaken" by what they saw

"But I ran out of steam and so did the boy and we came back."

Mr Poel said he was grateful to fellow shopkeepers who threw the chairs to try to foil the robbery.

Warwickshire Police, which deployed the force helicopter, said two men had been arrested.

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