Shopkeepers ‘shaken’ after Knipton armed robbery ordeal

Knipton village store and post office EMN-190816-121445001
Knipton village store and post office EMN-190816-121445001
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Police are investigating after robbers armed with a knife, a claw hammer and a screwdriver raided the village store at Knipton.

Jonathan and Shirley Holdford, who have run the village shop and post office for almost seven years, were left ‘shaken’ after two men wearing masks confronted them before making off with thousands of pounds worth of cigarettes and the contents of the till.

The raiders pounced as Mrs Holdford was unloading her car outside having been to buy new stock, including the cigarettes.

Mr Holdford told the Melton Times: “My wife saw them arrive and screamed and one of them grabbed hold of her.

“I was in the stock room and when I came out and saw them it was obvious what they were here for.

“They were dressed all in black with masks, one had a knife and the other one was holding a claw hammer and a screwdriver.

“I tackled one chap and the other fellow released his grip on my wife.

“One ran inside the shop and as I had an altercation with the other one he was screaming to his mate to hurry up.”

The robbers fled the scene in a vehicle having taken the haul of cigarettes and the cash register containing the day’s float and takings.

The incident happened at 8.30am on Sunday August 11 and the couple are still recovering from the trauma of being involved in it.

“We are still shaken,” said Mr Holdford.

“I hurt my hand from when I tackled one of them and I still have pain from it but fortunately we weren’t badly injured.

“Thankfully there were no customers in the shop at the time.”

The couple, who are aged in their early 60s, said they had beefed up security since the raid, which was captured on CCTV and which revealed that the robbers fled in a vehicle with false registration plates.

Mrs Holdford added: “Villagers have been very supportive since it happened and we’ve had lots of flowers from customers.”

A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police said: “Officers are currently investigating a report of robbery that took place at a shop in Main Street, Knipton, shortly before 8.30am on Sunday August 11.

“It was reported that two men had gone into the shop and become involved in an altercation with two members of staff.

“One member of staff, a man, was kicked by the suspects.

“The men then left the shop in a BMW with cash and cigarettes.”

Police say enquiries into the incident are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact them by calling 101, quoting the reference 19*424125.

A previous robbery at the store made national headlines in December 2008 when the then 68-year-old shopkeeper, Alan Garratt, fought off two robbers armed with three-foot long Samurai swords.

Mr Garratt had eight stitches in his arm after the pair took turns in slashing him with the weapons as they tried to get to the till.