A SALES assistant has described the “frightening” moment a raider snatched a necklace from her hands at a Heanor jewellery shop.
Wendy Mitchell tried in vain to stop the man taking the gold, which was worth £1,169, from Cresta Gems, on Ray Street.
But he managed to escape with the necklace into a waiting car, which sped off down Mundy Street.
“He literally pulled it from my hands,” said 40-year-old Wendy. “It was frightening, unnerving and maddening.
“He asked to hold it but I had no intention of letting him do that. But he just grabbed it.
“I tried to keep hold of it but he got it and ran off.
“He had not let the door shut properly, so it wasn’t locked, and he got out.”
The raid, which happened on Tuesday, September 13, at 12.15pm, was not the first to take place at Cresta Gems.
Back in February, a knife-wielding raider made off with the same necklace.
But he was chased by have-a-go hero Carl Ottewell, of Loscoe, who was in the shop at the time.
Mr Ottewell’s help enabled police to apprehend the thief and he was swiftly put before the courts.
Fortunately, a similar scenario unfolded after Tuesday’s raid.
An eagle-eyed witness outside the shop spotted what was going on and was able to give a description of the getaway car.
Subsequently, police stopped a car on the A608 at about 12.50pm the same day and arrested a man and a woman on suspicion of theft.
A third man was later arrested on the same charge.
Wendy, who was working alongside colleague Lisa Bowden, 33, at the time of the raid, said: “We didn’t know which way he went. When we got outside he had gone.
“But a lady saw him run out of the shop and jump into a black car.”
Wendy said she and Lisa had been unsure of the man when he entered the shop.
“It was his whole appearance,” said Wendy. “With hindsight I should never have entertained getting the necklace to show him.
“He asked to see it. I held it in two hands but still felt unsure.
“When he asked to hold it I said ‘no’, but then he pulled it from my hands.
“He obviously knew what he was looking for.”
Wendy, who has worked in retail since leaving school and at Cresta Gems for 18 years, admitted staff were going to have to be even more cautious.
She said: “We always treat people with respect and we have so many lovely customers.
“But there are low-life that put a shadow over everyone else.”
All three people arrested have been questioned by police and released on bail.
They are a 35-year-old woman from Pinxton, a 27-year-old man from Pinxton, and a 43-year-old man from Somercotes.