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81-year-old shopkeeper assaulted when tackling a robber at Norwich store

PUBLISHED: 13:08 15 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:00 16 January 2018

The Cottage Pine store on Magdalen Street where an 81-year-old shopkeeper was assaulted during a robbery. Picture: Dominic Gilbert

The Cottage Pine store on Magdalen Street where an 81-year-old shopkeeper was assaulted during a robbery. Picture: Dominic Gilbert

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An 81-year-old shopkeeper who was assaulted as he tackled a robber on Magdalen Street has had extra security installed at the store where he has worked for decades.

Police would like to speak to the men in the black and grey coats. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.Police would like to speak to the men in the black and grey coats. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.

David Allen has been selling furniture or fruit and veg on Magdalen Street since 1956, and the week before Christmas a robber targeted his shop - Cottage Pine.

As the pair got into “a scuffle” when the robber was seen stealing petty cash, Mr Allen ended up pinned to the floor with a swollen eye after attempting to tackle the man.

Police are now trying to trace two men who were seen acting suspiciously in the area at the time.

MORE: Police issue CCTV images after shop worker is assaulted in Norwich robbery

The two men police want to speak to after a robbery in Norwich. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.The two men police want to speak to after a robbery in Norwich. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.

Officers have released CCTV images of the two men they would like to speak to after Mr Allen was assaulted and cash stolen from the Cottage Pine shop on Saturday, December 16.

Mr Allen said he has installed CCTV cameras in the shop since the incident, which occurred while he was looking after the till alone.

He said it had been around 12.30pm when a man came into the store asking to look at some furniture.

“The guy asked me to show him some furniture, and when I went round the corner he left me and got back to the till quicker than I did,” he said.

Police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to after a robbery in Norwich. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.Police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to after a robbery in Norwich. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.

“By the time I got back he had his hands in the drawers.

“Like an idiot I pushed him up against the wall and he hit me and knocked me to the floor.

“There was scuffle and I didn’t really know what was going on. In the end he was kneeling on me while he was going through the drawers.”

“My eye was swollen but the paramedics when they came round were more worried about my blood pressure.

Police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to after a robbery in Norwich. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.Police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to after a robbery in Norwich. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.

“He took cash out of the drawer - a bag of silvers and a couple of fivers. That’s all it was. I don’t even normally keep cash in here.”

Mr Allen said he had been waiting for his son to come back from an errand at the time.

“He said he would be two minutes but I sent him somewhere else. If I hadn’t done that he would have been here.”

The suspect was described as white, around 5’2” in height, with sharp facial features and stubble. He was wearing dark clothing, gloves and a jacket. He is thought to be between 25 and 30 years old.

Police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to after a robbery in Norwich. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.Police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to after a robbery in Norwich. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.

Anyone who may recognise the men should contact DC Debra Vertigan at Norwich CID on 101.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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