‘And then I got my big stick…’ shopkeeper describes fending off robber

Mohammad Ali runs the El Mexicano shop

By Niamh Anderson


AN AXE wielding thug hit a shopkeeper over the head in a shop raid and got away with just £5.

But the brave shopkeeper has described how he fought off the attacker during the robbery and chased him down the street.

The attack at El Mexicano greengrocer in the Muirhouse area of Edinburgh, left furious Mohammad Ali with cuts to his head and hands after he battled the violent thief, who escaped with just a five pounds.

The criminal lunged at Mr Ali shortly after he had opened his shop yesterday morning, screaming for money and cigarettes.

But the defiant businessman managed to run the thug out of his shop, after hitting him with a stick.

The brave shopkeeper then chased him down the street until he disappeared.

Mr Ali, 53, said he had never experienced anything like it in his 25 years of running a greengrocer.

He said: “That man tried to kill me. I couldn’t believe it. He came at me with an axe and struck me on my head. He didn’t even think about how he would hurt me. There was blood everywhere.

“I put my hand up so he didn’t get me a second time, and then I got my big stick and I hit him. Eventually he crouched behind the counter, so I had to go around to the other side. Then I hit him again.

“Then me and my friend chased him out of the shop and down the road, where he tried to fight us again.

“I am furious because that guy could have murdered me. He only got a fiver and five packets of cigarettes. If I get him again I won’t be letting go of him. It was a small axe, but an axe is an axe.

“I’m just trying to look after my family. I wouldn’t usually tell the police if there was an argument in the shop but you can’t go around pulling out an axe.”

Mr Ali was taken by ambulance to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where he received stitches for his head wound.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police appealed for witnesses to the raid, which happened at around 11.30am on Thursday (Oct 20).

Detectives are carrying out enquiries to identify the man, who is described as white, aged between 30 and 32 years old, 5ft 5in to 5ft 8in tall with a slim build.

He had a gaunt face with light stubble and was wearing a dark raincoat with the hood up and dark trousers.

The police spokesman added: “Anyone that can assist with our investigation is asked to contact the police.”