Terror at gunpoint

CCTV image showing a man holding a gun who attempted to rob the Londis store on Rossall Road, Cleveleys.
CCTV image showing a man holding a gun who attempted to rob the Londis store on Rossall Road, Cleveleys.
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This is the terrifying moment a masked thug pointed a gun at a shopkeeper and her family during a dramatic late-night raid.

Two men burst into the Londis convenience store, on Rossall Road, Cleveleys, before one of the would-be robbers pulled out the weapon and demanded money.

He made a reach for the till while his accomplice stood by the door, only to start hurling sweets at the store owner and his wife – whose 18-month-old child was in a pram next to them – when they refused to hand over the cash.

Detectives today praised the couple for standing up to the men during the incident which happened atg 10.40pm on Wednesday night.

Det Insp Gareth Willis, of Blackpool CID, said: “It is unbelievable. She had a baby in a pram in the shop with her.

“He has waved a weapon about at this woman – it is frightening.

“It is just incredibly brave of them not to give them what they wanted.”

Police are now working to establish whether the weapon used was a real firearm and have called in an interpreter to take full witness statements from the couple, who are of Sri Lankan origin.

Adam Phillips, a member of staff at the store, said he was shocked by the CCTV footage of the incident.

He said the couple had been left “shaken up” by the incident, which took place at around 10.40pm.

“Two guys came in and one stayed at the door,” he added.

“The other one came to the counter and pulled out this big gun – it had a longer barrel at the front than normal.

“There was just the owner, his wife and their little baby – who is 18 months old – in at the time.

“The guy tried to put his hand in the till and they tried to fight him off a bit.

“Then he got all the mints and starting knocking them over and throwing them at them.”

Police are now appealing for information as they hunt the two men responsible.

The first offender is described as white, of slim build and wearing a grey hooded top with dark trousers.

The other, also a white male, wore a dark coloured hoodie, light gloves and had a rucksack which may have had red straps and white writing on the back.

Both men were wearing balaclavas.

Det Insp Willis added: “The victims have been extremely brave in what must have been a terrifying incident for them both.

“The female actually had her baby with her in the store when she was threatened with the weapon, which makes the offenders’ actions even more reprehensible.

“I am convinced somebody knows who is responsible for this offence and would ask them to search their conscience, do the right thing and contact us.”

Anybody with information about the incident is asked to call police on 101.