A deli worker today relived the terrifying moment she stared down the barrel of a gun after three masked men launched a daring daylight raid at a jewellers.
The crow bar-wielding balaclava thugs stormed into J and L Carr jewellers in St Annes and grabbed valuable items from the window before escaping in a getaway car – despite brave attempts by cafe workers and customers to stop the gang by hurling tables and chairs at the car.
Eye witnesses on Garden Street told how they heard frantic banging and screaming during the violent raid, with one even describing how she heard gunfire.
A worker at Pickles Farm, next door to the jewellers, said as she ran outside the masked driver of a black Vauxhall Astra which had stopped on the street pulled out a gun and pointed it straight at her.
The woman, who was too terrified to be named, said: “I was stunned. It took me a few moments to register that it was a gun. I turned around and everyone at my work was on the floor. It was surreal.
“I’ve never experienced anything that intense.
“I cannot believe what I’ve seen, I’m in shock. I left London to not have guns pointed at me, and now it’s happened here in St Annes.
“We could hear banging and screaming coming from next door and I heard what sounded like two gun shots.”
Police say they are investigating a report of guns being used in the raid at J and L Carr Jewellers at 10.30am yesterday, but there is currently no evidence of them being fired.
The men are believed to have smashed a window at the front of the jewellery shop and stolen the items on display as well as other pieces from inside.
They then returned to the car and sped off.
As they tried to drive off, it is claimed brave staff at the nearby JR Taylor cafe hurled furniture at it in a bid to stop them.
The Pickles worker, 32, said after the raid, shop owners on Garden Street were left extremely shaken.
“Everyone is fine, but we’re all really shaken up over what happened,” she said.
“There were tables and chairs lying in the road from where people were trying to distract the driver.”
No-one at the cafe was available to comment.
Police say the men abandoned the car around the Links Road area, close to Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club and got into another vehicle, possibly a red car.
Shopper Peter Connell, 66 of South Hey, Ansdell, said: “This is heavy stuff. It’s scary to think this has happened in St Annes.”
June Leach, 74, was visiting the town from Manchester. She said: “What’s happened is disgusting - you’d never think it could happen in St Annes.
“I come here every year and I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
The whole of Garden Street was cordoned off until the afternoon, and a cordon remained in place around the jewellers for the rest of the day while forensic officers investigated the scene.
A bench outside Fifteen, on nearby St Annes Road West, was also cordoned off in the afternoon.
Det Insp Unsworth, of Lancashire Police, said: “Fortunately, no one was injured but understandably everyone involved has been left extremely shaken by what can only be described as a terrifying ordeal.”
Call police on 101.