A Surbiton man said he feels “lucky to be alive” after he caught armed burglars trying to break into his home.

Gino Fiorellino, 49, who works for the British Heart Foundation, was at his friend's house enjoying the sunshine before he decided to head home at about 3pm.

He drove his scooter home and while parking in front of the side gate, he saw a young man brandishing a 4ft piece of wood appear at the rear corner of the house.

Gino said: “I shouted: ‘What the hell are you doing?”

Seconds later, three more men appeared, one with a brick and the other with a 2ft crowbar.

Gino said: “This is when I realised it wasn’t a social visit and that I had stumbled on an attempted burglary.

“I thought, how can I trap them and stop them from leaving?”

He quickly changed his mind and backed down the drive as they advanced “waving their weapons” at him.

He said: “I remember hoping that a passer-by would appear so I’d have a chance of stopping them but no one appeared as they ran to get in their already moving getaway car.

“As they ran past one of them said ‘sorry’.

“Maybe he felt sorry for me when he noticed I was wearing an artificial leg.”

Gino lost his leg after getting an infection from a broken leg.

Gino added: “The car they got in was a bright metallic blue Audi A1 or A3. It turned left into Elmbridge Avenue towards Berrylands.”

“I wanted to make this public, firstly, to have them caught and secondly, to make them understand the bad lifelong affects this has on burglary victims as some people have no option but to move house.

“I did chuckle as the man with the crowbar who looked a bit overweight tried desperately to get into the car as his crowbar was hampering him- the other two lads dropped the brick and lump of wood in the road.

“I’m thankful to our local police force- they responded very quickly.”

A Met Police spokesman confirmed officers were called to Beresford Road on Friday, September 22, to reports of an attempted burglary at a home.

He said: “Four males were disturbed trying to force entry into the address by a resident as he returned home.

“They fled the scene in a car, described as a blue Audi, driven by a fifth person.”

No arrests have been made and enquires continue.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Kingston CID via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.