At least eight robbers armed with machetes, hammers and a crowbar smashed their way into Amir Jewellers just after 5pm yesterday in the busy shopping street.
Footage from the scene shows up to 20 bystanders giving chase.
One suspect was knocked down with a traffic cone and wrestled to the ground. Other passers-by used a bin and a menu board to scupper the fleeing suspects.
Today the jewellery store owner thanked the “heroes” who took on the raiders.
Adil Al Ahmady, 44, described how he and a colleague took refuge in the basement. “We heard a massive bang and realised we were being raided,” he said. “In a split second we ran into the basement. We came up a couple of minutes later and didn’t know what we’d be facing.
“The people on the street challenging these robbers were amazing. They are heroes and I thank them.”
His wife Basma added: “I saw the raid live on the CCTV link at our home. I saw them approach slowly then all of a sudden a bike drives into the doors. All I could think was that my husband was going to die and I was sitting helpless at home and watching. Our 17-year-old son ran to the shop barefoot. He thought he was losing his father.”
Khyali Shinwari, 28, who works at Milad Supermarket next door, said: “They all came in and were threatening the customers with a hammer. We chased them out.
“One of the group picked up a menu placard at Carluccio’s and knocked one of the robbers off his bike. And then everyone started running after him. Everyone came together.”
Another witness said of the raiders: “They were all wearing balaclavas. One had an axe, one had a 40cm knife and another had a hammer. The knife was about the size of my arm.
“We picked up a bin and threw it at them to try and stop them. They all chased one of the guys who wasn’t on a bike and they were throwing a cone at him.” Five men were arrested on suspicion of robbery after the raid. The suspect who was held by the public was taken to hospital with a minor injury and is now in police custody.
Police are asking anyone with information to call 101 quoting CAD 5507/20May