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Jeweller, 71, chases ring thieves

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AN ELDERLY jeweller chased a gang of raiders who snatched a ring worth almost £6,000 from his shop. Philip Pike, 71, raced 100 yards down Rochester High Street shouting at passers-by to stop the thieves.

He caught up with them just as they reached their getaway car but they sped off. He said: "I didn't think about my safety. I was just so determined to catch them."

The drama began yesterday when the two thieves walked into his shop, Rochester City Jewellers, at about 2pm. They asked to look at a £5,800 platinum-set diamond ring and when Mr Pike produced it they snatched it from his hand.

He explained: "One man walked in and asked to look at rings. I brought out one and his friend came in and said no, that was the wrong one. He wanted to look at another.

"I brought that out and he then snatched it from my hand. They both ran to the door and I noticed there was a girl holding it open for them. They all ran down the High Street and got into a car outside the City Wall wine bar. I shouted out at passers-by, "stop them, stop them," but nobody did anything.

"I reached the car just as they were getting in but they locked the doors so I couldn't get at them. In all the confusion I ended up breaking their left wing mirror and they drove off."

The raiders sped off in a white Vauxhall Astra towards Star Hill. All are said to have spoken with northern accents, possibly Manchester and Derbyshire. The first man is said to be thick-set with short dark hair and a blue bomber-type jacket. He was in his mid-to-late 20s.

The second man is described as thin and wearing a suit too large for him. He had a spotty complexion, short brown hair and appeared to be in his early 20s. The woman is said to be aged about 20 with triangular-shaped earrings and long, straight, fair hair.

All are said to have spoken with northern accents, possibly Manchester and Derbyshire.

Anyonbe with information is asked to contact Medway police on 01634 827055.

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