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Thursday, September 20, 2012
A hammer-wielding thief was floored by a group of shoppers who sat on him until police arrived.
Jimmy Stringer, of Maryland Walk, Islington, was chased and rugby tackled to the ground as he tried to escape with £330,000 worth of designer watches stolen in a jewellery shop raid last week.
The have-a-go heroes took it in turns to sit on the 23-year-old’s arms as he tried to struggle free from their clutches before police arrived at the scene outside Michael Jones’s Jewellers in Banbury, Oxfordshire.
Stringer was part of a gang which raided the shop, smashing display cabinets with hammers and setting off an anti-theft device which left smoke billowing from the store.
The shop has been targetted by thieves three times in the past five years.
Witness John Lucas, 68, was one of the first on the scene.
He said: “I heard people shouting ‘stop him, stop him.’
“There were half-a-dozen people chasing a man down the High Street, then one man rugby tackled him and took him to the ground.
“He was holding him down until the police arrived.”
Stringer appeared before Oxford Crown Court on Monday and admitted one count of robbery.
He was remanded in custody and told to expect a lengthy prison term when he is sentenced on November 9.
A bag containing some of the stolen items was recovered at the scene.
n See our dramatic video of the incident as it unfolded at www.islingtongazette.co.uk