A ROBBER wearing a surgical mask brandished an eight inch kitchen knife at a shopkeeper as he demanded: “Give me the money.”
The criminal struck at Avenham Mini Mart on Avenham Lane, Avenham, Preston at around 9pm on Tuesday, where father-of-two Salim Patel, the shop owner, was cashing up.
The 37-year-old, who was alone in the shop at the time, said: “I didn’t have time to think about it. He had a large knife so I handed it over, I was scared.”
The thug, who had his face covered by a light blue mask, burst in and demanded money.
The victim handed over a small amount of cash but the robber then brandished the blade again and demanded more cash from the terrified father-of-two.
He is thought to have escaped with around £500 of takings.
Today DC Ian Best of Preston CID, said: “ This is a serious offence where a man going about his business was confronted by this cowardly offender. This person is a danger to the area and we need the public’s assistance to catch him.”
The same shop has been repeatedly targeted over the years in similar incidents.
The same shop was targeted by a robber - also armed with a knife - in September 2009 and by two raiders in September 2008.
In April 2008 the Evening Post told how the then shopkeeper was considering selling his business after he was robbed twice in one day.
Three boys – aged 13, 14 and 16 at the time – admitted their parts in the raids, which happened just days after the new management took over.
The youngsters burst into the shop, brandishing a knife and demanding cash. They got away with cigarettes but six hours later returned and stole £14.
On that occasion the robber went behind the counter, brandished a butcher’s knife and demanded the cashier open the till.
Mr Patel took over the shop in 2010.
The robber is white, 5ft 10in, 20 to 22, skinny, with light blonde cropped hair and blue eyes, wearing a grey hoodie. Call 101.