Share

Moderate showers

Sat

14°C | 11°C

Rain

Sun

12°C | 0°C

Clear spells

Mon

9°C | 6°C

Home   Medway   News   Article

Brave Gillingham shop manager Sasi Kumar defeats masked robber in terrifying machete attack at Shalu Food and Wine Store in Canterbury Street

20 January 2014
by Nicola Jordan

A terrified Gillingham shopkeeper held a machete-wielding robber captive while waiting for police to arrive – by locking him inside.

Panic-stricken Sasi Kumar was determined to thwart the masked raider when he targeted the Shalu Food and Wine Store demanding cash.

The father-of-two told him to get the money himself and while the robber struggled to open the till, 33-year-old Mr Kumar ran outside and locked the shop door.

Sasi Kumar, manager at GK Cash and Carry in Gillingham

Sasi Kumar, manager at GK Cash and Carry in Gillingham

The enraged thief, realising he was trapped, tried to escape out the back and, when that failed, started hacking at the door with the machete.

Mr Kumar said: "What he didn't know was that he could have opened the door from the inside so I had to use all my strength to hold on to the handle outside.

"He was literally inches away from me and glass was spraying in my face."

Mr Kumar called the police from his mobile and yelled for help in the street.

The man inside the store in Canterbury Street, Gillingham

The man inside the store in Canterbury Street, Gillingham

Neighbouring traders in Canterbury Street and customers at the Westcourt Arms pub opposite rushed outside.

But, when they saw the robber's menacing figure trying to smash his way out with the blade, they backed off.

Mr Kumar, who has been running the convenience store for two months, said: "I consider myself lucky to be alive.

"I was on my own and stacking shelves at the back. If I had been at the front he could have killed me.

"I was very scared and shaking, but if I had just run out he would have cleared the place. I was not going to let him get away with that."

GK Cash and Carry, in Canterbury Street, Gillingham

GK Cash and Carry, in Canterbury Street, Gillingham

Eventually, the robber forced his way out and fled towards Windmill Road with just two packets of cigarettes worth about £12.

The robber struck at about 8.45pm on Tuesday, 10 minutes before Mr Kumar's wife, Jayasema, was due to arrive.

"My wife was very scared when she heard what I had done. I don't think I'd do that again..." - shopkeeper Sasi Kumar

He said: "My wife was very scared when she heard what I had done. I don't think I'd do that again. The nerves just kicked in and I thought I just had to do something."

Detectives are linking the incident with another unsuccessful robbery at the Co-op in Albert Road, Chatham, just over an hour earlier.

Two men entered the supermarket at about 7.30pm, demanding money from a cashier, who pressed a panic alarm.

They fled empty-handed and are believed to have run off towards Hilda Avenue after pushing a security guard clear of the door.

Both men were described as white, one was wearing a blue and grey padded jacket, black jogging bottoms with white stripes down the side, a baseball cap and black gloves.

One of the men raiding the Co-op store in Albert Road, Chatham

One of the men raiding the Co-op store in Albert Road, Chatham

The second man was wearing a blue body warmer with a black long-sleeved top underneath, jogging bottoms, white trainers, stripy black gloves and a balaclava.

A Co-op spokesman said: "The staff members involved were shaken but not hurt and CCTV has been given to the police."

Anyone with information is asked to phone DS Michelle Burgess on 01634 792332, quoting reference XY/1580/14 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.


Stories you might have missed

Mum backs campaign to crack down on legal highs

The spider bite that could have killed

Driver trapped as two-car crash shuts M2

Airman tried to save himself from fatal rail fall


Click here for more news from Medway.

Click here for more news from around the county.

Comments 

Forgotten Password?

Forgotten Username?

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments.
Please click here for our house rules.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules.. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.