A MACHETE-WIELDING crook who tried to rob a newsagents was foiled by its quick thinking owner.
Kirit Patel, 63, who owns Style News newsagents in Hamstel Road, Southend, thought he was going to be killed when the thug shut him in his store and pointed a knife “as big as his arm” at him.
The would-be robber demanded money, but Mr Patel, who has run his shop for the last 15 years, tricked him by going out the back to pick up some cash.
Once there, he locked the door behind him and activated the alarm causing the robber to flee.
Mr Patel said: “I wondered why the door was shut because it was so hot, so I walked round and saw this man. He said, ‘give me money, I need money.’
“I was so scared. The knife was as big as my arm. I thought if I went to the till and didn’t give him money he might kill me.
“So I said I would go in the back and get the money for him because I don’t have any money in my pocket.
“He walked behind me and followed me, but I got behind the door and shut it and activated the alarm.
“My wife was upstairs and came to see what was going on, but I shouted at her to get back upstairs.
“Thankfully he ran away.
“I didn’t knowwhat was going on in the shop so I just stayed there. Jean from The Plaice to Be chip shop came round to check I was OK and told me the man had run off.”
The man was seen running across nearby allotments to get away.
The raid, which happened at about 5pm on Monday, came just a day after an 18-year-old shopkeeper was held at gun point at Colliers newsagents, in Hamlet Court Road.
The man left empty handed after the heroic shopkeeper scared him away.
Mr Patel added: “I was in shock for the rest of the evening but now I’m OK.
“I have worked from 1978. I worked for 22 years in a factory then 15 years here.
“But some people don’t want to work and turn to crimes like this. It’s terrible.”
The robber is white, in his late teens or early twenties, of average height, slim and was wearing a hooded black top, jeans and had his face covered.
Anyone with information can call detectives at Southend CID on 101 or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.