Handbagged: the jewel thieves foiled by a passing pensioner

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The Independent Online

A woman in a red coat, dubbed the handbag heroine, has apparently fought off robbers armed with sledgehammers during a raid on a jewellery store.

Footage filmed by a passer-by shows six men brazenly smashing their way into Michael Jones Jeweller in Northampton yesterday morning.

As staff activated automated shutters to protect the store's windows, the woman, who appears to be in her 70s, ran across the road towards the men, armed only with her handbag. She then rained blows on the gang with her bag, chasing them away from the shop, where they tried to make a getaway on scooters. But two of the men fell off a scooter in front of the woman, who had bent down to pick up some dropped jewellery. She took the opportunity to hit them with her bag once again. The men escaped.