Dramatic footage showed the moment a police officer confronted brazen ram-raiders as they smashed their way into a jewellery store.
The gang used a white flat-bed lorry to bash their way through the shopfront of Jai Jewellers before a group of up to five men entered armed with hammers and other weapons, threatening terrified staff.
A West Midlands Police officer confronted the getaway driver, waiting outside in a black Audi saloon car, while the men inside the store looted display cabinets and seized gold.
Video shot by a stunned passer-by showed the officer drawing his baton and try to shatter the car’s windscreen before backing off, as the driver gunned the engine and reversed along the road, packed with rush-hour traffic.
One of the officers needed to be taken to hospital for treatment for minor facial injuries.
Posting video of the incident, Twitter user @shalimu said: “Robbers getting away from the police. Cape Hill, Smethwick, #Birmingham. Just Jewellers ram raided!”
The footage then showed the raiders speeding off into Claremont Road and escaping in their high-powered car, and just seconds later more police cars arriving at the chaotic scene.
Community activist, Desmond Jaddoo, said: “Absolute frightening robbery last night in Cape Hill in the late busy evening traffic which I understand a Police Officer may have been injured.
“My thoughts and prayers are with all in the area and the services. We need to be joined in trying to make our streets safer.”
Superintendent Richard Youds, of West Midlands Police, said: “The behaviour of these men showed that they were prepared to use considerable violence, including attacking a police officer and a police car.
“Thankfully nobody was seriously hurt and the officer is today recovering at home from his injuries having been treated in hospital.
“We know that there were a large number of people in the area at the time this took place and are appealing for anyone with information about this incident to come forward.”