Owners of an Eastbourne newsagent which was the target of a knifepoint robbery say they are not going to let the terrifying incident beat them.
Dawn Murrell was the sole member of staff in Scott’s Newsagents in Old Town on Wednesday (February 12), when a man armed with a large knife entered the shop and demanded she open the cash register.
She said, “It all happened so quickly. I’d just served a friend, I was chatting to her and I turned around and he was stood there.
“He just said, ‘Give me the money’. I thought somebody was mucking about at that stage, I didn’t see the knife, then he held it out.
“So I opened the till and threw money on the counter and he was gone, that’s how quick it was.”
Dawn says she has received so many flowers from people after the incident that she has run out of vases.
She said, “I have had so much support it’s been unreal. It’s just been amazing. It’s a nice community around here.”
She also praised the 999 operator who stayed on the phone with her until police arrived, as well as the officers who were quick to the scene in Victoria Drive at about 2.22pm.
“Police were absolutely brilliant,” she said, “They were here within five minutes.”
She described the attacker as wearing a balaclava and Parker-type coat with a fur hood. He was about 5ft 10ins tall and aged in his 20s, and made off with around £350.
Dawn said, “Why did they have to pick on a struggling independent business? We haven’t even been here a year yet.”
The mother, who owns the business with her husband Paul, took just a day off work before she was back in the shop serving customers. She said, “You can’t let them beat you. You have got to carry on.”
She is calling on people to support their local shops.
Officers sealed off the area around the newsagent and carried out a forensic investigation. Sussex Police says enquiries are ongoing and no arrests have been made yet.
Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to report it online or call 101, quoting serial 689 of 12/02.
Alternatively, you can visit the Crimestoppers website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For advice on how to protect your business from robbery, visit the Sussex Police website.