Shop manager tells of terror ordeal

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A SHOP manager has spoken of the terrifying moment when three masked men tied him up and threatened to stab him during a robbery in Wigan.

Mark Lewin, 25, says he feared for his life after the gang stormed into R S McColls, in Warrington Road, Lower Ince, at around 5.45am on Monday.

He was forced into the back of the shop as the three men demanded he hand over the shop’s takings.

A bread delivery worker, unaware of the shocking chain of events happening inside the store, then entered, and bravely grappled with one of the raiders after realising the shop was being robbed.

He was grabbed by two offenders as he tried to call police, and ushered into the office, where both victims had their hands tied with Sellotape.

The robbers then made their escape with a large amount of cash and cigarettes.

Mr Lewin, who returned to work the day after his traumatic ordeal, today urged anyone with information to come forward to prevent more shops being targeted.

He said: “I thought my life was in danger when they first came into the shop. They took me into the back and kept saying they were going to stab me if I didn’t open the safe.

“Then the bread delivery man came in and started fighting with one of the men on the shop floor. That’s when they tied us both up and got away with the money.

“I’d ask anyone who may know who these people are to contact the police immediately.”

Detectives have now issued an appeal to try and catch the robbers.

All three offenders are described as white. Two were 5ft 9in tall, of medium build and wearing dark clothing. The third was wearing dark clothing. DC Suzanne Rigby, of Wigan CID, said: “The offenders will undoubtedly be seeking to offload the stolen cigarettes, so if anyone hears of someone selling them or is approached with a view to buying them please get in touch.

“It is unacceptable that two honest, hardworking people going about their daily jobs are subjected to such an ordeal by a group of men who think they can just take what they want, and I am keen to hear from anyone who can help me bring them to justice.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 5307, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.