Sydney jeweller Sam Kritsotakis punched a gun-wielding robber in the face twice before wrestling him to the ground on Monday afternoon (April 15).
Kritsotakis, the owner of Eskae Jewellery Boutique in Mosman, was in the workshop at the back of the store just after 5pm when he looked through the window between his workshop and showroom and noticed “a man with a hoodie pulled all the way forward in front of his face” loitering in the arcade outside.
“I was immediately suspicious as he was holding a little red bag that he was nervously playing with,” said Kritsotakis.
“I thought he might have some sort of weapon in the bag to either smash up my showcases or cause me some harm and the next thing I knew he was making a beeline into my showroom…”
Kritsotakis decided to walk out into the showroom and meet the intruder “to protect the customer goods” he had in the safe in the workshop area.
“As soon as I entered the showroom he held the gun about an inch in front of my chest,” he said.
“I was scared. My first thought was about my two young kids and wife at home and then there was a distinct moment where I thought ‘Who the hell are you to be doing this? How dare you try to take me away from my family? I will not let myself stand for this kind of crap’.
“I then instinctively reacted by punching him in the face. He hit me back with the side of the gun and then I hit him again.
“He then took a bit of a stumble and tried to run out of the store. I managed to grab a hold of him and we were wrestling in the arcade until eventually I was able to pin his hand holding the gun to his chest so it could not be utilised.
“I ended up wrestling him to the ground where I was able to lie on top of him pinning him and the gun to the ground.
“The guy working in the shoe-repair store next door then came and helped me while the owner called the police.”
Police arrived within one minute and arrested the 19-year-old man with attempted armed robbery using a firearm with intent.
Kritsotakis said that although the outcome of the robbery attempt was positive he would not recommend a similar course of action to other jewellers.
“I have been taught how to handle robberies passively and that’s how I thought I would react in such a situation,” he said.
The weapon used in the attempted robbery has now been identified as a “non-working replica pistol”.