Brave employees foil thieves

CCTV footage
CCTV footage

THIEVES who attempted to steal thousands of pounds worth of jewellery on Tuesday were foiled by two cool employees.

At around 9.50am three women entered Araucaria Jet in Church Street and began to ask the store staff to show them a variety of high-value products.

Hazel  Parkyn and Laura Jackson of Araucaria ''w123919a

Hazel Parkyn and Laura Jackson of Araucaria ''w123919a

While the employees were distracted by two of the ladies, the third attempted to steal around £2,000 worth of gold and silver jewellery.

However, the two employees, manager Hazel Parkyn and sales assistant Laura Jackson, spotted the items were missing and demanded they be returned.

The whole incident was also caught on CCTV – the image above captures the moment when the trio were told they were on film.

This was the first robbery experienced by Hazel, who has been manager of the store for a year and said: “They were asking me to get high value gold items out so we knew which ones they’d taken.

Theft at Araucaria ''w123910c

Theft at Araucaria ''w123910c

“We didn’t step the other side of the counter but we knew what they’d got and we demanded our products back.

“I said you’re on CCTV and I’m ringing the police right now, give it back.

“I think the sheer shock of us forcefully demanding the items meant they handed them back.”

The three women then fled the scene, making off with a single silver pendant necklace valued at around £30.

Theft at Araucaria ''w123910a

Theft at Araucaria ''w123910a

The women are described as Asian in appearance. Two were in their 40s, while the third was in her 20s. Two of the women wore bomber-style jackets, while the younger one was described as having very long hair, tied up in a bun. One of the older ladies wore a head scarf and had distinctive gold teeth.

Laura said that when she told her partner about the attempted robbery he could not believe what happened, as the women could have turned violent. She added: “You don’t actually know what you would do in that situation until it’s there. My heart was racing but it was so obvious they had taken something.

“Then after two of the women left the third just tried to stare me out with these really mean eyes. Then she sort of bowed and left.”

After the women fled from the store they were believed to have escaped the area in a vehicle.

Theft at Araucaria ''w123910b

Theft at Araucaria ''w123910b

Anyone with information is urged to contact Melanie Smith by calling 101 and selecting option 2 and quoting reference number 12120160863.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.