Workers on a Hucknall industrial estate became heroes for the day when they jumped into action after hearing screams for help.
Men from neighbouring premises at Imex Enterprise Park were alerted to a robbery taking place in Simply Hydro by a staff member who escaped the unit and cried for help.
Three men had entered posing as customers before demanding money and threatening to slash the throat of another worker who they forced on the floor.
But thanks to the quick actions of the business community the robbery was foiled and the assailants caught.
This week, after the court hearing saw the three men sentenced to a total of 15 years, the victim praised his fellow workers for coming to his aid and the police for seeing justice served.
“It was a very nasty incident and frightening at the time,” said the worker who didn’t want to be named. “I was just working as normal as the three men looked around the store but then they attacked me, pinned me to the floor and told me they had a knife and wanted the cash.
“I managed to shout for help to the other staff member who was in the back warehouse and she ran to get help.”
It was the screams of the assistant that alerted workers in the other units to run to help.
Ian Barnacle, who works at Demon Salvage opposite Simply Hydro, was working on a car outside when he heard the commotion.
“I heard the screaming and shouting as did a number of other workers in the nearby units and we all went to help,” said Ian. “I got one bloke to block the main door with some wood so they couldn’t escape and a few of us went to the other door and went inside.”
At this point one of the attackers, who was holding the man on the floor, picked up a fire extinguisher and let it off spraying it at the men giving the victim chance to press the panic alarm linked straight to the police.
“The spray was going in our eyes and two of them managed to escape,” added Ian. “We followed them out and locked the door trapping the third man inside whilst others made chase.
“The two ran to their van which they had parked nearby but realised the trapped man had the keys so they made a run for it.”
Police were soon on the scene and despite not catching the two on the run, after arresting the one trapped in the unit they caught up with them later.
Ian added: “These men obviously meant business but the adrenaline was pumping and I didn’t think twice about helping and neither did the other guys.”
The victim praised the efforts of the men who came to his assistance and also the police for seeing justice done.
“I’m so grateful to all the guys who helped on that day. If I had been on my own I dread to think what could have happened. It may have been a lot worse.
“One good thing has come out of it though, as it became a talking point and brought us all together as friends and created a real business community.
“The three men got good sentences and the police were brilliant. I just hope they can now catch the third man so he can be locked up too.”