Pair who foiled axe man would do it again

Andy Warner and Gus Smith who helped prevent a robbery at a pawn shop in Blackpool

Andy Warner and Gus Smith who helped prevent a robbery at a pawn shop in Blackpool

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An axe-wielding raider who tried to rob a Blackpool gold store got more than he bargained for when two passers-by tackled him.

Andy Warner, a trained martial artist, stopped the raider after he held an axe to a store worker’s face at Cash for Gold in Lytham Road, South Shore, on Tuesday.

Gold robbery at Cash for Gold in Lytham Road, South Shore, Blackpool

Gold robbery at Cash for Gold in Lytham Road, South Shore, Blackpool

Mr Warner, 30, of Browning Avenue, Lytham, was helped by colleague Gus Smith, 29, from Hambleton, a former rugby league player, who jumped in to help.

Mr Warner, a builder, added: “I was working and had gone to the bank. Next thing I saw a guy walk past with a hoodie and black bag.

“As I got back in the van I kept watching and saw him pull an axe out and go inside the shop. I sped up to the kerb. jumped out and ran in. He had just broken a glass cabinet – he tried to swing the axe but I hit him on the head with a crowbar.

“I made sure the woman was OK and Gus ran in and stopped the man from leaving.

Armed robbery at Cash 4 Gold in South Shore

Armed robbery at Cash 4 Gold in South Shore

“I guess instinct took over – you do what you have to do. We would do it again if we had to.”

Mr Warner said the store owner, Lynton Carr, had given the pair £200 each as a reward for helping his daughter, who was working in the shop.

Following the incident, police praised Mr Warner’s actions, but appealed for witnesses.

Det Supt Simon Pritchard, from Blackpool CID said: “This must have been a horrific incident for the woman working in the shop.

“Fortunately, the actions of the member of the public that intervened potentially prevented her from coming to any serious injury.

“I would still ask members of the public who may have witnessed anything suspicious leading up to the incident to contact the police.

“We are particularly keen to trace a member of the public who reported the robbery.”

A 27-year-old man from Blackpool was arrested on suspicion of robbery. He is currently recovering in Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Anyone with information can call police on 101.