Quick-acting clerk, 71, thwarts 5 masked diamond bandits

A quick-acting, 71-year-old woman working at Helzberg Diamonds in North Wilmington was able to ward off five masked bandits trying to force their way into the store Tuesday night, according to Delaware State Police

The attempted theft began 8:30 p.m. as the sales associate was inside the store in the Concord Square Shopping Center preparing to lock-up on the frigid night when she approached the store’s glass front doors.

As she went to lock the doors, two men wearing dark clothing and ski masks approached trying to force their way in. At least one brandished a handgun, state police said. They were joined by three more men, also wearing dark clothing and ski masks.

One of the men forcibly pulled on the door as the sales associate fought to lock it. She was able to do so quickly enough to thwart their attempt to get inside.

The woman ran to the back of the store and contacted police. The men then fled on foot through the parking lot toward Concord Pike.

Descriptions of the men were unavailable because they were masked.

Authorities are asking anyone with information to contact the Troop 2 robbery unit of the Delaware State Police at 302-834-2630, extension 6; or, use the mobile crime tip app at http://www.delaware.gov/apps. Moreover, information can be called into Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333; or, via the internet at www.tipsubmit.com or by anonymous text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP."