HAVE-A-GO HERO

Brave Sam chases shop raider who was armed with ham­mer

East Kilbride News - - FRONT PAGE - Ni­cola Find­lay

A have-a-go hero shop­keeper has de­scribed how he at­tacked a ham­mer-wield­ing thug who tried to rob him.

The brave owner of Akhtar’s Newsagents in Calder­wood, Sam Akhtar, was alone on Thurs­day morn­ing when he was con­fronted by the would-be rob­ber who de­manded he hand over cash.

But de­fi­ant Sam man­aged to grab the ham­mer off the youth – who po­lice say was in his late teens – and chased him out the shop. He told the News: “I wasn’t go­ing to let him get any cash off me. I was scared be­cause I was by my­self but I work too hard to just let some­one take what they want.”

Po­lice in East Kil­bride are this week ap­peal­ing for wit­nesses to help them track down the failed raider.

A hero newsagent fought back af­ter a ham­mer­wield­ing thug tried to rob him.

The youth, who po­lice say was in his late teens, de­manded cash from the owner of Akhtar’s Newsagents in Al­loway Road, Calder­wood.

Sam Akhtar, who has run the store for the last 18 years, was alone when the brazen would-be thief came into the shop with his hood pulled over his face.

He de­manded cash and bran­dished the ham­mer at a stunned Sam who couldn’t be­lieve what was hap­pen­ing.

But the brave shop boss fought back and grabbed the ham­mer off the youth and chal­lenged him shortly af­ter 11am last Thurs­day.

The cul­prit then fled the store and po­lice in East Kil­bride are now ap­peal­ing for the pub­lic’s help in track­ing him down.

“I have never had any prob­lems in the 18 years I have been here,” Sam told the News.

“I hon­estly couldn’t be­lieve any­one would tar­get the shop or me like this.

“At first, I though he was jok­ing around but when he started shout­ing, de­mand­ing money and wav­ing the ham­mer I re­alised he wasn’t.”

The 47-year-old went on: “It is all a bit of a blur to be hon­est and it all hap­pened so quickly.

“Of course I was scared, but I think in­stinct just kicked in.

“Times are hard enough as it is and I work far too hard to just hand over my money. I some­how man­aged to get the ham­mer off him and I fought back.

“I had to try and pro­tect my­self and I was de­ter­mined he wasn’t go­ing to get away with any­thing.”

Sam added: “Even­tu­ally he ran off. It is only now that the re­al­ity of what hap­pened has set in that I am feel­ing ex­tremely shaken.

“All my cus­tomers are re­ally shocked by what has hap­pened.”

Po­lice have de­scribed the cul­prit as in his late teens and wear­ing a black hoodie, which he pulled over his face when he en­tered the shop.

He is of slim build and ap­prox­i­mately 5ft 5in tall.

PC Lu­cie Black, from East Kil­bride’s safer com­mu­ni­ties team, said: “Thank­fully, the shop owner was un­hurt but left shaken by the in­ci­dent.

“En­quiries are on­go­ing and we are ap­peal for any wit­nesses to con­tact po­lice on 101 or Crimestop­pers anony­mously on 0800 555111.”

Tar­get Sam’s shop in Calder­wood

Rob­bery at­tempt Sam Akhtar was con­fronted at his shop in Calder­wood

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