AMBULANCE officers found themselves face-to-face with axe-wielding burglars at a convenience store in Hythe.

A “banging noise” was heard by the emergency service staff whilst finishing shifts on Monday morning.

The officers then heard an alarm coming from One Stop Store on Fairview Parade, Hythe, and parked outside before spotting three men standing behind the shop doors.

According to one of the officers, they saw a long-handle axe in one of the burglar’s hands and a metal pole in another man’s hand.

He said: “Me and my colleague were just finishing a late shift at 2am and heard a banging noise coming from across the road.

"We then heard an alarm and thought someone was breaking in.

“We could see a panel in the door had been smashed, so my colleague got onto our radio.

"We approached the door and could see movement inside.

"Three males with masks and hoodies on appeared behind the doors and started exiting through the smashed hole, so I grabbed one of them.”

He added: “We had a bit of a struggle and one guy ran off.

"One of them stayed with me and then pulled away.

"I was left holding onto a duvet cover which they had brought along with them to put stuff in.

"Two of the males were armed. One guy had a long-handle axe in his hand and another had a metal pole.

"They ran off and we summoned police. A suspicious vehicle also appeared.

“I had a cut on my hand as the guy had glass on his clothing.

"Police said it looks like our intervention startled them.

"It was a bit of an adrenaline rush but perhaps I shouldn’t have tried to tackle them. I wanted to stop it.”

One Stop confirmed the break-in but declined to provide a comment.