Have-a-go grandad foils shop knife raider

Salford Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - PAUL BRIT­TON

AHERO grandad out post­ing Christ­mas cards bar­ri­caded a masked knife­man inside a con­ve­nience store.

Re­tired Ron­ald Smith, 78, spot­ted the rob­ber point­ing a knife at ter­ri­fied shop as­sis­tant Hay­ley McManus, 22, as he walked past P&H Con­ve­nience Store in Swin­ton and looked in through the win­dow.

Quick-think­ing Mr Smith was joined by a sec­ond pen­sioner and to­gether they held the store’s door tight shut, trap­ping the thug inside.

Now po­lice chiefs are ap­peal­ing for the pub­lic’s help to trace the sec­ond mys­tery pen­sioner so they can thank him for his brav­ery and speak to him.

Mr Smith, who was walk­ing along Bolton Road to post Christ­mas cards, said: “I don’t know what I was think­ing re­ally.

“I just thought that I wouldn’t let him out of the shop. The girl be­hind the counter was very up­set and cry­ing. I just saw it all go­ing on and thought I would have to do some­thing.”

The rob­ber, who struck at 9.40am last Thurs­day, was about to make his get­away with cash, cig­a­rettes and al­co­hol.

Mr Smith, who lives nearby with his wife and used to work as an un­der­ground cable fit­ter, said the thug tried to kick his way through the door as they held it shut.

He said: “The other man was walk­ing past and I asked him to give me a lift. The two of us were just hang­ing onto the door.”

The rob­ber even­tu­ally ran to an up­stairs room above the store and jumped out of a win­dow. But the heroic pen­sion­ers had been joined by other passers-by and he was pinned to the pave­ment as he tried to run away be­fore po­lice ar­rived. An 18-year-old was sub­se­quently ar­rested.

Mr Smith said he didn’t know who the other pen­sioner was and hadn’t seen him be­fore. Brave Hay­ley, who had been work­ing at the store, said: “He just came charg­ing in with the knife and I was ter­ri­fied. I just can­not thank the men and ev­ery­one else who helped enough. They were great.”

Insp Dianne Er­ring­ton said the sec­ond man left the scene be­fore he could be spo­ken to. She said: “We re­ally want to trace this man, to ex­press our sin­cere thanks for his brave ac­tions above ev­ery­thing else. We are also keen to speak to oth­ers who were present and again as­sisted in de­tain­ing the man but left prior to our ar­rival.”

A man has ap­peared in court charged with rob­bery.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion can call po­lice on 0161 856 5228.

Ron­ald Smith

Shop worker Hay­ley McManus

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