An appeal has been launched to catch an armed robber who terrified staff at a Mexborough newsagent on New Year’s Day.
A man walked in to J A and S Windles Newsagents, at the junction of Hirst Gate and Doncaster Road, at 7.50am.
He asked for the time and left. He returned minutes later, armed with a red baseball bat,and threatened a member of staff and ordered him to hand over cash.
The man, with a distinctive tattoo on his hand, stole an unknown value of money and three packs of cigarettes before leaving the store. It is believed he may have headed in the direction of Hirst Gate.
No one was injured in the incident. Despite numerous inquiries by officers, no one has yet been arrested in connection with the robbery.
Frank Knapton MBE said: “I was very disturbed to hear about it. I can imagine the distress and trauma it would cause staff. I am pleased nobody was injured. That was very fortunate.
The retired policeman, also a founder member of Mexborough Community Partnership, added: “The shop is on a busy main road so hopefully, at that time in a morning, people may have witnessed something and not realised it. but be able to assist police and this person will be caught.”
Andy Pickering, Mexborough First councillor, said: “I would like to send my best wishes to the proprietors of the shop, victims of such a nasty cowardly attack. I use the shop myself and it pains me to think such nice people have been subjected to such a terrifying experience.
“Hopefully the clear CCTV pictures will bring this thug to justice quickly. At a time of cuts to the South Yorkshire Police budget, this crime is a timely reminder that Mexborough needs its police officers and PCSOs.
“We are fortunate an excellent team of police [and] PCSO have been in the town.”
Commenting on Facebook, Nicki Gledstone said her auntie and uncle used to own the shop and she was the victim of a robbery there.
“My auntie and uncle don’t own it any longer, they kept the name. I think it was 20 years since I was held up at knife point in that shop.”
Lewis Aspinall said: “I could have been there, I was two minutes late as I was on my way to my paper round.”
Anyone who recognises the man, or has information about the incident, should contact South Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting incident 671 of 1 January 2015.
Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.