Evenwood shop keeper uses newspapers to chase away "stupid" armed robber

The Northern Echo: AUTOMATIC MODE: Mike Barnes, 57, and his partner Wendy Swords, 46, owners of The Lateshopper, in Evenwood, who challenged the masked robber AUTOMATIC MODE: Mike Barnes, 57, and his partner Wendy Swords, 46, owners of The Lateshopper, in Evenwood, who challenged the masked robber

A SHOPKEEPER told a machete-wielding robber to stop being stupid before using a bundle of newspapers to chase the masked man out of a village store.

A robber armed with a 12 inch long machete-style knife entered the Little Shopper in Evenwood, near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, at about 7.50pm on Monday (December 16) and demanded shopkeepers Mike Barnes and Wendy Swords hand over their money.

Mrs Swords said the robber then slashed at the shop counter twice, the blade connecting just two feet away from her, but Mr Barnes refused and threw a bundle of newspapers at the robber who then fled.

She said: “It only lasted about ten seconds but it felt like ten minutes.

“We just went into automatic mode, he demanded we give him the money, Mike said no and told him to stop being so stupid, he threw the papers at him and the robber ran out.

“We always said that if we got robbed we would not hand anything over, we would fight for the shop and the money that we worked so hard to get.”

Mr Barnes followed the robber outside and saw him get into a silver car which was driven away by a second person.

He noted the number plate and handed it over to police.

The pair have run the shop on West View for 12 years, and although they have been left traumatised, Mrs Swords said they had no intention of closing the business.

She said: “It was horrible, I keep seeing the machete hitting the counter, but I know it will get better.”

The robber was wearing a green waterproof coat and police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.

Detective Sergeant Andy Reynolds said: “This was a disturbing crime which left the shop workers shocked.

“Evenwood is a safe place to live and a crime of this nature here is very unusual.

“We are sure people in the community will have information which will help us with this enquiry and I would urge them to get in touch.”

Information can be reported to DS Reynolds on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.

A 19-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the offence and has been released on bail pending further inquiries.

Comments (4)

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10:49pm Fri 20 Dec 13

CarolMC says...

Hats off to you Mike and Wendy........must have been so awful for you both, but well done you! And you're absolutely right to not let such scum take your hard earned money/goods........t
hough I'm so pleased to hear neither of you were in any way injured physically - I so hope any mental scars will soon disappear - easier said than done, I realise, but these low lifes do not deserve the time of day. So feel for your ordeal and best wishes to you both.
Hats off to you Mike and Wendy........must have been so awful for you both, but well done you! And you're absolutely right to not let such scum take your hard earned money/goods........t hough I'm so pleased to hear neither of you were in any way injured physically - I so hope any mental scars will soon disappear - easier said than done, I realise, but these low lifes do not deserve the time of day. So feel for your ordeal and best wishes to you both. CarolMC

7:23am Sat 21 Dec 13

Jackaranda says...

I agree with Carol, and you have sent out a clear message, have a nice Christmas!!
I agree with Carol, and you have sent out a clear message, have a nice Christmas!! Jackaranda

10:00am Sat 21 Dec 13

stone-rose says...

So pleased no harm to both of them ,Lets hope the toe rag gets some good old fashioned justice "Evenwood "style!!
Merry Xmas everyone
So pleased no harm to both of them ,Lets hope the toe rag gets some good old fashioned justice "Evenwood "style!! Merry Xmas everyone stone-rose

1:08am Tue 14 Jan 14

CarolMC says...

Almost a month down the line Mike and Wendy and after calling in earlier tonight and having a natter, so pleased you are both feeling so positive after your dreadful ordeal. Cannot even begin to imagine the awful stress you have both experienced, but again, I can only say hats off to you both for protecting your precious business and thank God you were left (at least physically - though I realise the mental scars will take longer) unharmed. These lowlifes are the pits of our society and have absolutely no clue of the hard work and long hours involved in people earning an honest living. The very idea of scum who believe they are entitled to walk into your business and steal from you makes me sick to my stomach. Cannot tell you how much I admire your dedication to your well deserved business and long may you continue to serve Evenwood without repetition of the disgusting behaviour you have had to endure. God bless x
Almost a month down the line Mike and Wendy and after calling in earlier tonight and having a natter, so pleased you are both feeling so positive after your dreadful ordeal. Cannot even begin to imagine the awful stress you have both experienced, but again, I can only say hats off to you both for protecting your precious business and thank God you were left (at least physically - though I realise the mental scars will take longer) unharmed. These lowlifes are the pits of our society and have absolutely no clue of the hard work and long hours involved in people earning an honest living. The very idea of scum who believe they are entitled to walk into your business and steal from you makes me sick to my stomach. Cannot tell you how much I admire your dedication to your well deserved business and long may you continue to serve Evenwood without repetition of the disgusting behaviour you have had to endure. God bless x CarolMC

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