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Jeweller fights off robbers with ring-sizer

An Australian jeweller fought back against would-be robbers – using his ring-sizer as a weapon.
Dennis Coleman, owner of Balwyn Jewellers in Melbourne, was preparing to close his store just after 5pm on 17 March when a youth entered his store.

“He walked in and demanded that I open the till,” Coleman said.

“So I opened the drawer where I keep my ring-sizing equipment, pulled out my ring mandrel, and just said, ‘get out of my shop or I’ll cave your skull in’.”

Coleman explained that the robber then said, “I’ve got a gun in my pocket!” “So I replied, ‘well show me’,” he added.

Coleman, who has training in martial arts, decided to put his store first and force the youth outside.“If I had a fight inside the shop, I’ve got glass counters everywhere, so they would have gotten smashed and there would have been a mess,” he said.

“So I pushed him out the door, and he had two mates outside, so I just stood there staring them down until they left.”

Since the ordeal, Coleman has received letters of support from his fellow jewellers.

“I got a letter from Holdsworth Brothers afterwards, saying well done, great job,” he said.

“I just thought to myself, this is a good trade to be in when you’ve got people who care about you like that.”

Although he was successful, Coleman has more sensible advice for his fellow jewellers: “Press the hold-up button.”

“When I asked the policeman if I did the right thing he said, ‘you had a good result so you did the right thing, but it could have gone the other way’.

“Plus when I got home the wife went bananas at me. But I didn’t even think about. This kid wanted to take what’s mine and I lost it.

“It’s the first time that’s ever happened to me and you always wonder what would you do in that situation. So I’m pleased with my reaction,” Coleman said.

Coleman has been in the jewellery industry for 40 years, having started as an apprentice with his father. He has owned Balwyn Jewellers for over 30 years, working as a manufacturer, watchmaker and retailer.

Despite his ordeal, Coleman plans to remain in the industry for many years to come. “I love this industry, it’s been very good to me and I enjoy it,” he said.

Coleman’s passion for the industry led him to write a blog for Jeweller magazine last year. (Login to read.)

Image courtesy of Josie Hayden, originally published in Progress Leader.

More reading: Security tips for retailers  (Login to read.)

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