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Norwich shop worker survives knife ordeal

West Earlham Mini Market where a shop worker was held up at knifepoint.

West Earlham Mini Market where a shop worker was held up at knifepoint.

A Norwich shop assistant told of his horror as he tried to protect himself as a robber threatened him with a knife just inches from him.

Ravichandra Nekkalapudi, known as Ravi, was getting ready to close the Earlham Mini Market in Wilberforce Road, on Monday evening, when he was threatened with the knife.

The thirty-year-old, who is now having trouble sleeping because of his ordeal, explained that moments before the raid the shop was busy but had noticed a man loitering outside.

“I was trying to close up, then at about 8.10pm he came in,” he said.

“He had a white scarf around the bottom of his face and he was wearing a cap. I could just see his eyes only.”

A part-time employee, Mr Nekkalapudi, who was working in the shop to cover a shift for a colleague, said the experience was “difficult to describe”.

“I read the papers and see the movies but I never think it’s going to happen in my life,” he said.

“It felt scary.”

Mr Nekkalapudi went behind the counter and with the knife only inches away from him, he was able press the alarm button, while grabbing a small torch to protect himself.

“{The knife] was a kitchen knife around a foot long.

“He had been observing how I opened the till and managed to opened it, then threw a small carrier bag and shouted at me to put all the money in the bag.”

Mr Nekkalapudi estimated there would have been around £700 in the till but once the offender realised the alarm had been pressed he fled the scene empty handed.

“The police were there in 10 minutes. Then the CSD followed.”

Although at work again the next day a “nervous” Mr Nekkalapudi admitted is was a shocking experience and said: “This guy I have never seen before.

“It is difficult to describe. I feel a bit nervous. I feel nervous inside.

“Last night I never slept. I could only see the weapon on my eyes.”

The offender is described as white, 6ft tall and of slim build.

DC John Waterman, Norwich CID, would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident or has information regarding it.

DC Waterman can be contacted on 0845 456 4567, alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Mr Nekkalapudi said that some of the smaller shops in the area had been targeted in the past and pleaded for anyone with information to come forward: “Please if you saw anything contact the police.

“Because he has tried to do crime on me I need to protect myself.”

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