A 75-year-old man bravely stepped in during an attempted armed robbery at a post office at lunchtime today (Wednesday 28 December).
The pensioner tried to wrestle the knife-wielding robber at the Premier Store in Widdicombe Way in Mouselcoomb.
The robber lost his crash helmet, which was left at the scene, and fled empty-handed.
He jumped on to the back of a waiting motorcycle and was driven away by an accomplice.
The motorcycle, believed to be a black and blue moped, made off down Hillside.
Two men with a similar machine had been seen acting suspiciously earlier in the day at the Bingo Hall in Moulsecoomb Way and another local store.
The robber went into the post office store at about noon and demanded money from a cashier at knifepoint.
The knifeman was described as white, in his early twenties, about 5ft 7in tall and with a black or dark blue scarf around his head and crash helmet.
A South East Air Support Unit helicopter joined the search for the raiders.
Detective Constable Robin Aspin said: “This was a very serious incident and luckily nobody was injured.
“The man who intervened is to be applauded for his bravery and his action has given us a very good chance of finding the suspects.
“As they made their escape, the pillion passenger would have stood out because he wasn’t wearing a helmet.
“Someone out there will almost certainly be aware if someone they know has returned home without his usual crash helmet.”