A pensioner has been praised for his bravery after he helped foil a smash-and-grab robbery by sledgehammer-wielding thugs.
Mike Graver, 70, was walking through Bury St Edmunds, in Suffolk, with his wife when he spotted five men ransacking a jewellery store as terrified staff cowered behind the counter.
However, Mr Graver, joined by a 30-year-old shop worker, leapt into their path as they left the shop and demanded they return the £80,000 of stolen watches they had stuffed into a holdall.
With little thought for their own safety, the pair dodged a volley of violent sledgehammer swings before grabbing the bag of loot as the men fled empty handed.
Dean Armstrong, Charlie Kavanagh, Jed McDonald, George Paget and Dwayne Marsh were later snared by police and on Tuesday convicted of conspiracy to rob. They were all jailed for terms ranging between six and nine years.
Det Insp David Giles, who led the hunt for the robbers, said: "This armed robbery was a well thought out and thoroughly planned attack. However, what they were unable to plan for was the community of Suffolk who assisted in hindering and detecting this crime."
He added: "I would like to pay tribute to the shop staff who were subjected to this ordeal and the members of the public who became involved through their selfless bravery."