Police search for robber who threatened to kill Norwich shop worker

An opportunistic thief has shaken the confidence of a Norwich shop worker after threatening to kill her in an odd attempt at robbing the newsagent she works in.

At around 6am on Wednesday 26 January a man entered L & B Stores on Earlham West Centre, threatened the woman and demanded money from the till before eventually leaving with a solitary packet of cigarettes.

Now Norwich Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident that the shop worker, Maria Shreeve, admits was a distressing one for her when alone in the shop she has worked at since 2005.

She said: 'He started asking if I was on my own and then just suddenly said open the till or I'll kill you and was pointing his big umbrella at me.

'Like a silly fool I said no, there wont be any money in there and actually said are you going to pay for those cigarettes and he just picked them up and went.

'It's never happened to me before but I think he was just an opportunist, he saw me on my own and thought he'd try his luck.'

Norwich Police describe the man they are looking for as: 'Asian, 5ft 6ins tall and of slim build. He was aged between late 20s and early 30s. At the time of the incident he was wearing a grey hooded top, brown jumper and dark grey tracksuit bottoms. He was carrying a blue and grey golf style umbrella with a wooden handle.'

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Miss Shreeve, 58 years old, knows she was lucky the man did not have worse intentions. She added: 'I was fortunate it was not worse because he could of easily poked me hard with his umbrella so I was pretty shaken up.

'I was just praying that someone else was going to walk through the door while he was there.

'I've been worried ever since, worried about who is coming in the shop in the mornings. I know my regulars but I have never seen him before, so I think he was just trying his luck.'

DC Matt Stuart, Norwich CID, would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the robbery or has information concerning it. DC Stuart can be contacted on 0845 456 4567 or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Have you got a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or by email on david.freezer@archant.co.uk