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EXCLUSIVE : Woman’s terrifying knife ordeal by Halloween masked robbers in Hawksworth

Vesper Road Off-Licence

Vesper Road Off-Licence


Three men wearing Halloween masks burst in to an off-licence store in Hawksworth and held a 33 year old woman at knife point last night.

The store owner was on her own in the shop on Vesper Road at 8pm when the robbers jumped over the counter and surrounded her.

The mother of one, Jetal Patel, 33 said: “I was really shocked by what happened; this is the second time it has happened to me.

“My mind went totally blank; I could hardly move I was so scared, all three of them had knives pointing at me then one started taking all the cigarettes while another forced me to open the till.”

The thieves took more than £600 from the till and £500 worth of cigarettes.

Mrs Patel, who has a daughter aged six, claimed the knives were 12 inches long and the men were wearing Guy Fawkes style masks.

Sarog Patel, 58, another member of staff and Mrs Patel’s aunt said: “I worry about her being on her own late at night, sometimes she even has to bring her little girl with her.

“I think they know when she’s going to be here and they think she is an easy target.”

The three suspects fled the scene when they were interrupted by a customer entering the shop.

Neighbour Samantha Ackroyd, 38, said she is a good friend of the owners and comforted her friend in the aftermath last time the shop was robbed three months ago.

The first time it happened three men wearing balaclavas and armed with knives entered the shop and threatened Mrs Patel before taking money from the till.

Detective Inspector David Roberts, of Leeds District CID, said: “Although she was not physically injured in the incident, the member of staff was left quite badly shaken, as was a male customer who was in the shop at the time.

“We are conducting enquiries to trace the people responsible and we would like to hear from anyone who saw these men in the area around the time of the incident.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 or call the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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