A shopkeeper today told how a man burst into his store and held a knife just feet from his face, threatening to “do him”.
But despite terrifying Dwarampudi Reddy, 54, and his wife, the offender stole just a single bottle of vodka worth £12 before fleeing.
The incident happened at the Reddy’s off licence store, in St George’s Road, Deepdale, Preston, as the couple were sitting at the back of the shop.
Mr Reddy heard a customer coming into the store and went to investigate, only to find the offender, who was not wearing a mask, looking agitated.
Mr Reddy said: “This guy actually barged in, more or less ran into the shop. I went into the shop and he was already at the front near the bottles. He was being aggressive and asking about prices.
“I told him if you burst into the shop make sure you shut the door from now on because the bell carries on ringing.
“He was even more aggressive, he said, ‘I can do what I like.’ Then he pulled a knife out.
“He threatened me, he was waving the knife in the air.”
While Mr Reddy moved back behind the counter, his wife called the police.
Mr Reddy added: “He was almost gone out of the front door, then he came back with the knife and put some gloves on.
“Then he grabbed a bottle of vodka and ran off.”
Shortly before the offender ran out, a second man appeared in the store, who police are keen to speak to.
Mr Reddy had to be stopped by his wife from trying to confront the offender as he grabbed the bottle, but he did run after the robber down the street.
The five-minute ordeal has left both Mr Reddy and his wife, who have run the store for more than 30 years, in shock.
He added: “My wife is really scared. Both of us, to be honest, are still in shock. I couldn’t sleep last night, it was still going through my mind what could have happened because he was so close to me.”
The incident happened at around 10.20pm on Tuesday. Police are asking for witnesses to come forward.
Det Sgt John Crichton, of Preston CID, said anyone with any information should call police on 101.
l A 19-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of robbery.