Leicester shopkeeper shocked by violence of teenage raiders
A newsagent has described the moment masked robbers head-butted him, held knives to his stomach and ordered him to open his till.
Two teenagers burst into Smital Kumar's shop brandishing two "very large" knives as he cashed up in the early evening.
Mr Kumar, 36, said yesterday he had been shocked by the age of his attackers and the level of violence they were prepared to use.
"They were so violent and so young, maybe 16 to 18 years old," the married father-of-one said.
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"They came in while I was cashing up because I was ready to close for the day.
"I didn't look up at first because I thought it was probably one of my neighbours who always comes in to buy a paper, but it was two young men.
"As soon as I saw them I knew it was bad. They were both wearing black clothing and their faces were covered.
"One of them head-butted me and then they both held their knives, which were very large, against my stomach and told me to open the till.
"They took the money from the till, my mobile phone and some cigarettes.
"It was all over in two minutes, but before they left they pulled a gold chain from around my neck.
"That was a gift from my mother and father and is very important to me.
"I've been in the shop for about a year and nothing like this has happened to me before. It was terrible and very frightening."
The two robbers, who are thought to be 16 to 18, stole cash from the till, cigarettes and Mr Kumar's Samsung Galaxy 2 phone.
The chain they took from him is made of 24-carat gold and had a heart-shaped locket decorated with three diamonds attached to it.
The shop – Saffron Newsagent, in Leicester's Saffron Lane – was targeted at 6pm on Monday.
Detective Constable Jenny Tattersall, who is investigating, said: "This was a frightening incident for the victim, who has been left devastated by the theft of his chain.
"If you witnessed the incident, or you saw two men acting suspiciously, we would urge you to contact the police.
"Any calls received will be treated in confidence."
The men are both white, slim and about 5ft 6in.
One was wearing a black tracksuit, black gloves and a blue bandanna, which was covering his nose and mouth.
The second was wearing a black tracksuit, black gloves and a red bandanna.
Contact Det Con Tattersall on 101 or Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous, on 0800 555 111.