Norwich shop owner describes knifepoint robbery ordeal

Woodgrove Parade shops. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Woodgrove Parade shops. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

A Norwich shop owner has today spoken of the fear he felt as a robber held a knife to his throat and demanded money.

The owner of Jay's Newsagents on Woodgrove Parade (pictured right) said he was frightened when a man wearing a balaclava entered the shop just before 7.30am yesterday demanding he empty the till.

The suspect has been described as a white man aged between 40 and 50. He was wearing a black hoodie, balaclava, gloves and dark trousers.

Jeyachandran Ratnasabapathy said: 'He just walked in and asked me for money and I gave him it. He put a knife to my throat. He left with £200 and £9.37 of Amber Leaf tobacco.'

He added that he had worked in Brixton and Camberwell and this was the first time that he had been targeted by a robber.

'These people are desperate, you can have all sorts of CCTV but they're going to do all sorts of things because they are desperate. What can you do?'

It is believed that after leaving the store the suspect turned left and headed towards Woodcock Road.

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Mr Ratnasabapathy said he had received a lot of support following the incident. He said: 'I think all my customers were a bit upset, they've asked me how I am doing and the Co-op security man said he will give me support.'

Scott Walker, the anti-social behaviour officer at the East of England Co-op on Woodgrove Parade, a few doors down from Jay's Newsagents, said: 'The Co-op are here to support their colleagues and customers and their community. We are aware of an incident that police are dealing with and we'll continue to support the community.'

Shopper Lucy Smith of Norwich said she was upset to hear about the robbery.

She said: 'It's terrible, lots of children shop here, that's very frightening.'

Another shopper in Jay's Newsagents, Carmelita Agar, of Garrick Green, said: 'This is a popular place for people to come so I hope people won't be nervous because you have to be patrons of these small shops.'

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or anyone with information, should contact DC Ollie Pailes at Norwich CID on 101.

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