MASKED robbers brandishing a chainsaw, a pick axe and a sledge hammer raided a jewellery shop.
A gang of four men burst into WS Jewellers, a family-run business on Carlton Street, Westgate End, on Saturday afternoon.
The terrified owner handed over jewellery and a large amount of cash kept in a safe.
One eye witness, who was too scared to be named, tried to stop the gang from escaping by blocking the street off with his car.
He said: “They were shouting at me to move and then one of them came at me with a chainsaw.
“I was trying to slow them down to give the police time to arrive.
“But they tried to over take me, they bashed into the back of me two or three times and then they got away.”
The man, who also owns a business in the area, knew the victim well.
He said: “He told me they took his life savings – and they made him empty it.
“His wife and kids are usually in the shop with him on Saturdays – the only good thing is they weren’t there at the time.
“It’s a tight community round here, no-one can believe something like this could happen.”
Detectives have launched a major investigation into the armed robbery which involved two stolen cars.
It happened at around 3.40pm when the men arrived in dark blue Mitsubishi car which had been stolen from Hebden Bridge.
After escaping from the shop the car was found abandoned behind Westgate Common WMC, on Park Grove Road.
There a getaway car, a black Audi RS4 Quattro, which had been stolen from Sheffield, was waiting for the robbers.
It sped off towards Horbury Bridge and was later found abandoned at The Crossings in Birstall.
The gang got into another car and drove towards Huddersfield.
Anyone with information should call DC Steve Wright at Wakefield CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.