Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Westcliff garage owner Tony fights off two robbers
A FEISTY garage owner fought off hammer-wielding thugs during a terrifying armed robbery.
Tony Probert, 61, was locking up Probert Motors, in London Road, Westcliff, when two men burst in at the side of the garage demanding cash.
One man smashed Tony over the head with a hammer, knocking him to the ground, before hitting him again while he was lying on the floor.
Tony managed to kick out at one of the men then struggled to his feet and punched him in the face.
He said: “They were shouting: ‘Give me your money’ and then one of them smacked me over the head.
“I kicked him then smacked him in the face. They ran out. I shut the door behind them, then I noticed I was pouring with blood and sat down.”
The garage alarm, which Tony had just set, started going off and one of his neighbours heard the commotion and dialled 999, at about 6pm, on Thursday.
The pair of robbers fled emptyhanded towards London Road, leaving a balaclava behind.
Tony, who lives in Pritlewell and has owned his business for 27 years, was taken to Southend Hospital and needed cuts and gashes on his head glued together. He was also treated for a swollen wrist, but escaped without any broken bones. He was back at work the next day.
He said: “I looked like a train wreck. There was blood everywhere, all down my face and in my beard.”
The robbers are described as two young white men, wearing padded jackets and dark clothing. One was medium to slim build and less than 5ft 7ins tall.
DI Julie Gowen, who is leading the investigation, said: “This was a nasty, unprovoked assault on the man, who bravely fought back, despite being hit with a hammer.
“The men were unsuccessful in their robbery attempt and I am concerned they will try to strike again.
“They need to be identified urgently and I would appeal for help from the public.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact CID at Southend police station on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Comments are closed on this article.