MEMBERS of the public tackled one of two robbers and thwarted the raid on a jeweller's in Oxford's Covered Market today, it has emerged tonight.

Police have confirmed that a man left fighting for his life in the John Radcliffe Hospital was tackled by passers by during the robbery attempt at John Gowing Jewellers.

The man, who is aged about 40, stopped breathing and was rushed to hospital as paramedics worked to restart his heart.

A second robber fled the Covered Market empty handed and further details have emerged tonight, including that he may even have taken a bus to make good his escape.

Detective Superintendent Chris Ward said it was now believed the two men - who were both wearing motorcycle helmets - were pushing a motorbike as they walked towards the jeweller's.

They tried to smash one of the windows of the store.

The green and black motorcycle was left lying on its side outside the jeweller's.

Mr Ward, who is leading the hunt for the second robber, said: “At this stage we believe that members of the public restrained one of the offenders, while the other ran away, leaving the Covered Market via Turl Street.

“As the man ran away, he discarded his helmet and some clothing we have subsequently recovered in Boar Street.

“It appears that the man has then got on a bus in the city centre and then got off in the area of St Clements.

“We would especially like to speak to anyone who might have seen a man who ran away from the scene, or the men before the robbery happened.”

The man who fled is described as white and wearing a black and white t-shirt with blue jeans.

The other man was in a serious condition tonight, he added.

Mr Ward continued: “I am asking anyone who has any information, no matter how insignificant they believe it to be, to get in touch.

“I would like to reassure residents that I have a team of detectives working on this investigation to ensure that we catch whoever is responsible and I urge anyone who might have been in the area of the Covered Market and seen any suspicious activity, to contact the police immediately.”

Anyone with information can call Mr Ward at Oxford CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.