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Knifeman terror in cash grab shop raid
9:00am Friday 4th October 2013 in News
STAYING open just a few minutes later than usual almost cost one corner shop owner his life after a lone masked raider threatened him with a large knife for his day’s takings.
Police are appealing for witnesses after the shopkeeper was held at knifepoint for £500 under his counter. The incident took place shortly after 10pm on Wednesday evening as the masked robber burst into AAA Shop Ltd on the corner of County Road and Elmina Road brandishing a kitchen knife.
The robber grabbed the owner from over the counter by the collar with his left hand and held the knife against the victim’s stomach with the right.
The thief, described as white, of slim build, around 5ft 9in tall and aged no more than 25-years-old, ordered the assistant to empty his till and made off with almost £500.
Shopkeeper, Sham Gulmo-hammed, 24, said the culprit had been assessing his target for the previous 30 minutes with two walks past the shop, checking whether it was clear of customers.
The shop normally closes at 10pm, but Sham said he stayed open a few extra minutes while he waited for a friend to meet him - minutes which may have cost him his life.
Sham also said the robber dropped something on the street outside as he made his getaway, stopping to pick it up and was spotted by a bus driver on the number 17 service down County Road.
Sham, who has worked in the shop nearly three years, said: “Shopkeepers are helpless. I’m in the shop all the time, with no security, no-one around, no other shops to rely on.
“I have had people trying to steal things like bottles before, but never anything like this.
“I was happy to work yesterday daytime because I have become friendly with a lot of local people around here, but I feel scared at night now. I don’t want to be on my own at night, I need someone here.”
Police have released a CCTV image of the offender in the hope people will recognise the culprit.
Detective Constable Matthew Lewis said: “This robbery was committed against a lone shop worker who was working in the small newsagents.
“The offender has grabbed hold of the worker and threatened him with a knife.
“This robbery happened so quickly that the worker did not have any time to react but he remained calm when obviously terrified by a knife-wielding attacker.
“I would like to hear from anyone who saw a male like the one pictured running along County Road or the surrounding streets just after 10pm on Wednesday night.”
Anyone with information should contact Wiltshire Police on 101, or Crimestopp-ers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.