Bandit hit shopper as he fled jewellery heist
The man police are hunting in relation to the heist.

UPDATE: 1.50pm The armed bandit who robbed a Spearwood jewellery store yesterday hit a shopper in the carpark as he fled, police revealed today.

The bandit, who threatened staff in the Shiels jewellery store before smashing windows and grabbing jewellery, had been in to the store twice before the robbery.

Investigators today said that as the bandit fled through the carpark he hit a shopper with his hand.

The gunman pointed a sawn-off shotgun at staff and customers inside the Spearwood shopping centre yesterday before casually walking to a getaway car with a haul of stolen jewellery.

Witnesses said they heard a loud bang as the bandit smashed glass display cabinets inside the Shiels jewellery shop at Phoenix Shopping Centre, on Rockingham Road, shortly after midday.

"I saw a guy with a shotgun," a worker from a nearby shop said.

"He shouted at everyone to get down.

"I had customers in the store so I told them to get down and told them he had a gun. Everyone got down.

"I looked out to the food court and everyone was on the floor, then I went back and he was still smashing all the glass cabinets."

The witness told of the terrified screams of one woman who was later treated by St John Ambulance officers for shock.

"For a split second he kind of pointed the gun at me, which was kind of intimidating," he said.

Shopper Sam Hawes said he was about 5m from the jewellery shop when the bandit struck.

"I heard a bang, I walked about 2m and I saw a young girl who fell on the ground," Mr Hawes said.

"Her mum and her nan, they sort of came to her assistance and jumped on her instinctively.

"I looked up and saw him when he was almost out the door.

"He wasn't going too fast . . . but he was certainly covering a lot of distance."

Other shopping centre workers believed they heard gunshots but police said the firearm had not been discharged during the robbery.

Two women were inside the jewellery shop at the time of the robbery but neither was harmed.

The bandit threatened other shoppers as he left, including one woman who followed him a short distance in a bid to record the numberplate of the getaway car.

Workers on an upper floor carpark said the man casually climbed into a car and drove away slowly.

The police helicopter, regional investigation unit detectives and local officers patrolled neighbouring streets but had not made an arrest by late yesterday.

Detectives were watching security camera footage of the robbery yesterday afternoon.

They said the bandit was armed with a sawn-off firearm and a tyre lever that was used to smash the glass cabinets. They believed the bandit might have inspected the shop before striking.

The offender is described as being in his mid 20’s, about 182 to 188cms tall with a light brown complexion, of slim build, with dark-coloured hair, unshaven and with a large moustache.

He was wearing a black and grey horizontal stripped long-sleeved shirt, grey tracksuit pants with a black stripe down each side, black sneakers, a black cap and white-framed sunglasses.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The West Australian

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