Brave shopkeeper fights off armed gangBy Lewis Rudd
February 18, 2009
A Hurst shopkeeper who bravely fought off three armed robbers refuses to call himself a hero.
Devinderjit Singh reacted quickly to thwart the robbery attempt of the men who burst into Hurst Village Stores and Post Office in The Street at about 2.30pm yesterday.
They were armed with hammers and machetes and demanding money by threatening them with a baseball bat.
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The-52-year-old, who runs the convenience store with his partner, Ajit Kaur, explained how the men stormed into the premises wearing balaclavas.
The gang were to leave the store empty handed and a police manhunt, which involved Thames Valley Police’s helicopter being scrambled, quickly followed.
Mr Singh said: “It happened so quickly. Three guys came in wearing balaclavas and totally cov-ered so you could only see their eyes.
“They obviously waited for the place to be clear so they could escape quickly and that’s when they jumped in.
“They burst through the door and two of them stood by the counter while one of them made their way to the post office counter.
"Two were holding machetes and the other had a hammer.
“I always keep a baseball bat behind the counter, just in case, so I tried to fend them off with that.
"I just wish I was allowed to hit them.
“My partner came out from behind the post office counter and called the police.
"She told the gang there were on their way but they just stood their asking for money.
“The first thing they asked for was money so I can’t imagine they wanted anything else.”
Detective Constable Phil Mullins, of Loddon Valley CID, has launched an appeal for information.
He can be contacted on 0845 8 505 505 or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously.