Thief robs shop – then pays for cigarettes

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By Kirsty Topping

 

ATHIEFrobbed a city newsagents at knife-point – then paid for a pack of cigarettes.

The man threatened a 28-year-old shopkeeper with a ten-inch kitchen knife and demanded all the money in the till at Max News Xtra in Edinburgh.

The terrified worker was warned not to press the store’s panic button and was forced to hand over around 300.

The robber then asked the man for a pack of Marlboro cigarettes from the display behind the counter before handing over 10 to pay for them.

The shopkeeper, who asked not to be named, said he’d been left

“shocked and scared’ by the raid, which happened at 11.30pm on Sunday.

He said:

“This man came into the shop and was looking around for two or three minutes. I asked him if he needed help finding something. He was very friendly and said he was fine.

“I was doing some paperwork when he came up behind me and pulled out a knife with a wooden handle.

“He started shouting

“Show me the money, I need the money.” I told him there was CCTV recording him but he didn’t care.

“I gave him 250 or 00 and he told me not to push the panic button. I decided just to give him the money because I was thinking of my family.

“Then he asked me for a pack of cigarettes. I asked him

“What kind’? and he said he wanted red Marlboros. I don’t know if I gave him a pack of 10 or 20 but he gave me 10 back again. Then he ran out. “

The man is described as being white, around 5’7′ and in his 20s. He was wearing a black hooded top and dark tracksuit bottoms with grey shoes.

He covered his face with a scarf and a red beanie hat.

The shopkeeper added:

“He was someone I had seen before in the shop. He wasn’t a regular customer, more somebody who came in every two or three weeks. “

A police spokeswoman said:

“While the shopkeeper wasn’t injured, he was understandably shaken and we are appealing for any information that can help us trace the suspect.

In January the same shopkeeper needed hospital treatment after being attacked for refusing the sell cigarettes to a gang of youths.

The five attackers, including at least one in school uniform, stole cigarettes and the till and left the shopkeeper with a badly bruised eye.

 

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