Leicester Golden Mile jeweller fights hammer robbers

A Leicester jeweller has said robbers armed with hammers stole gold rings worth about £30,000 from his shop despite him putting up a fight.

Kampala Jewellers owner Rajesh Pattni said he smashed a blue Suzuki van the four men were driving off in with a baseball bat to try to stop them.

The van was later recovered but it is thought the gang escaped in an Audi which was involved in a collision.

The shop on Leicester's Golden Mile was raided at about 11:50 BST on Tuesday.

Following the Audi crash the men made their getaway in a white Ford Transit van which was last seen in Highfields, police said.

'Protect my jewellery'

They smashed open glass display units and stole two trays of gold rings, Mr Pattni said.

"I pressed my panic button, my wife pressed the smoke machine to smoke the shop out," he said.

"At the same time I got something in my hands, a baseball bat, and started to fight with these guys, chasing them out.

"They got out of the shop taking a few items off us.

"I started smashing their car to try to stop them getting away, but unfortunately they managed to get away."

Mr Pattni said it was "human instinct" to fight the thieves to "protect my jewellery".

He added it was the second time his shop in Melton Road had been targeted but said he would "fight against these people".

Det Insp Rob Widdowson said: "Thankfully no-one was injured but the shop owners are understandably upset and annoyed that their livelihood has been targeted in such a way.

"I am particularly keen on speaking to the woman who pressed the bell to the jewellers just before the suspects entered the shop and also anyone who witnessed the collision in Uppingham Road.

"The information they have could be key to this investigation and I would urge them to come forward immediately."

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