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Ann Timson has been dubbed a "supergranny" after she foiled a jewelry store robbery by hitting a gang of six sledgehammer-wielding robbers with her purse, but says:"I am not a hero."
A 71-year-old British woman has been dubbed a "supergranny" after she foiled a jewelry store robbery by hitting a gang of six sledgehammer-wielding bandits with her purse.
The robbery at Michael Jones Jewellers — and the "handbagging" by Ann Timson of the alleged raiders — was caught on camera.
Timson, who has previously tackled drug addicts and prostitutes in the projects where she lives, has dismissed her bravery, telling British media that “somebody had to do something.”
Four men aged 18, 22, 25 and 39, from London, were subsequently been charged with robbery and vehicle offenses and are due to appear before Northampton Magistrates Court.
Police said six offenders on three motorbikes tried to smash the shop windows with sledgehammers on Monday.
Officers are still looking for two suspects.
According to Timson, quoted in the Telegraph: “I was standing talking with a woman when I heard a commotion and I looked across and saw six young men on scooters.
“At first I thought one of them was being set upon by three others. I was not going to stand by and watch somebody take a beating or worse so I tried to intervene. What concerned me was that too many people just stood around watching as if they were in shock and nobody was doing anything.
“When I got closer to them I realised it was a robbery and then I was even more angry that they felt they could get away with what they were doing in broad daylight.”
One of the men nearly hit a woman’s baby in her buggy as he tried to escape.
Timson, who is understood to have arthritis in her legs, said: “I clobbered him with my shopping but he got away. The rest of them were still trying to smash and grab at the jewelry.
“I didn’t know what happened next but I just kept swinging my bag. I landed several blows against one lad on the back of a bike and brought him to the ground. He raised a hammer to me so I just kept hitting out and shouting and shouting for others to help and bring them down.”
She added: "In the cold light of day, I know I put myself in danger. But I probably would do the same again. I am not a hero and it was maybe foolish of me to get involved but somebody had to do something."
Timson, a former market trader, lives in the Spring Boroughs estate in Northampton, once notorious for its lawlessness and rife with drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes.
But Timson, undeterred by repeated threats of violence, helped turn the neighborhood from a "violent crack den into a thriving community," one friend said, according to the Daily Mail.