A JEWELLERY shop owner has relived the dramatic moment he punched an armed robber in the face.
George Huntley was working in his store, Young George Jewellers, when two men launched their brazen daylight heist yesterday morning.
Pensioner George charged out of his shop and was the first to confront the men – who were wearing masks and ‘forensic-style’ white overalls.
Speaking of the ordeal today, Mr Huntley said: ‘I was in my shop and I could hear the banging. I recognised straight away what that was – I knew they were trying to break the window.
‘I ran out there and I confronted them. One picked up the pickaxe and waved it at me trying to scare me off.
‘They then got back into the car. I went to the driver and punched him in the face.
‘I went to the back passenger seat, where the other chap was, and I leaned in through the window.
‘He tried to fend me off using the pickaxe handle. At that point the driver has put his foot down.’
Mr Huntley was dragged a few metres as the car fled from Osborne Road down Clarendon Road before he was forced to let go.
‘I have done two somersaults and injured my hand and foot,’ Mr Huntley added.
As previously reported, the thieves drove their silver Volvo, registration FA52 AJU, into nearby Stanley Lane where they set it alight.
Police cordoned off a small section of Osborne Road while specially trained forensic officers scoured the area for clues.
A spokesman for Hampshire police added they are still searching for the two culprits.
The official told The News: ‘No arrests have yet been made but we are following several lines of enquiry.’
Mr Huntley added it was the fourth time his store had been robbed in 35 years he had owned it.
‘Each time our insurance company has told us to improve our security,’ the jeweller explained. ‘I don’t know what else we can do.’
Witnesses or those with information about the raid should call police on 101, quoting 44170135237.