Have-a-go grandad foils shop knife raider
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.
Shop worker Hayley McManus