A 24-year-old man stabbed when he confronted burglars last night disrupted a crime spree involving five people which started when they stole a car early this morning.
The man was stabbed in the leg and was helped by a resident after he banged on a door and cried out for help.
The man, former East Perth footballer Trevor Oliver who lives above Bluewaters Cafe in Cottesloe, was woken around 4.30am by an alarm.
Police said that when Mr Oliver investigated he found two people wearing hooded tops and dark clothing trying to break into a vehicle.
Three more burglars were in the cafe.
They are thought to have been armed with an axe and at least one screwdriver.
Police said that the gang had been involved in a string of crimes after stealing a car in Warnbro some time between 1am and 2am.
They robbed a Scarborough liquor store and a Chicken Treat outlet before breaking into the Bluewaters Cafe.
Police say the gang fled in a silver 2006 GTS Commodore, 1DST 198.
Flatmates of Mr Oliver said he was stabbed in the left leg with a screwdriver in a fight that erupted when he confronted the bandits.
Police said Mr Oliver was pushed into rubbish bins during the fight.
It appears Mr Oliver chased two of the bandits down the street.
But he stopped at a Forrest Street unit where he banged on the door and yelled for help.
The resident of the Forrest Street unit said he was woken by the cries for help and discovered the man on the doorstep in shock.
The resident said he took Mr Oliver inside and called an ambulance.
Mr Oliver was stabbed in his left calf in the attack.
He was taken to hospital but was released and has been interviewed by police.
As the 24-year-old left Western Suburbs detective office, his injured leg bandaged, he said he was fine.
"I'm good, I'll play a bit of Playstation and I'll be fine," he said.
East Perth football manager Mark Winnett said Mr Oliver won the club's best and fairest award in 2009.
Mr Oliver represented WA in a win over South Australia that year before retiring at the end of the season with a degenerative knee injury.
He played 45 league games for the Royals.