Preston shopkeeper Dipesh Patel found would-be robber on Facebook after refusing to hand over cash, proud dad reveals

Dipesh Patel held off an attempted robbery at B&D Newsagents
Dipesh Patel held off an attempted robbery at B&D Newsagents

A brave shopkeeper has thwarted an armed robber for a second time - this time using the power of social media.

Dipesh Patel’s proud parents have revealed how the 33-year-old turned detective and took to Facebook to find a photograph of the man that burst into their family run newsagents shop, armed with a hammer.

Bungling robber Christopher Lowe, 30, of Dawson Walk, Preston, was given 24 months in jail, suspended for 12 months, and a rehabilitation activity after pleading guilty to attempted robbery at Preston Crown Court.

He admitted trying to rob Mr Patel at B&D Newsagents on Plungington Road, Preston, on June 25 - but the plucky shopkeeper stood his ground and did not give him any money.

Mr Patel, 33, previously told the Post how he tackled two robbers armed with golf clubs at the same shop in May 2012.

He could not speak to the Post about his ordeal on this occasion as he is undergoing knee surgery.

His father, Bhanabhai Patel, 69, said: “ Someone came in armed with a hammer.

“I was not there but he demanded money from Dipesh. He was behind the till but refused to give him money.

“I was disappointed when I heard it had happened again.

“He left and he called the police but at first they didn’t find anyone so he gave a description.

“Dipesh went on Facebook and found a photo of the person who did this, and took it to the police - he had a suspicion.

“We were told the man was arrested over another incident somewhere else.

“I don’t know how to feel about his sentence.”

Mr Patel and his wife Bhartiben, 63, have ran the store for 25 years and have been robbed before, as well as suffering broken windows.

Dipesh dramatically thwarted two thugs armed with golf clubs in May 2012.

He put his weight against the front door and gripped the handle to stop the masked men entering the store - standing firm even when they used the clubs to smash a window, showering him in glass. They ran away when a passing car beeped.