“If you move, I’ll stab you!”
Police are appealing for any information regarding a horrific robbery last month at the , in Newell Carr Road, Otley.
On Sunday 17th January, at around 8.45pm, three robbers struck the family-owned business, kicking a 33-year-old member of staff to the ground and stealing over £1,500 in cash from the till.
Tandeep Singh Saggu, who was the victim of the beating, said: “I was sitting on my shop counter. The shop was empty. First, two guys came in, with another one standing outside the door keeping watch.
“One jumped over the counter and attacked me. I defended myself and as I was doing so, another guy came around from the back, covered my face and kicked me to the floor.”
Tandeep, who has been at Cottage Stores for over a year, says that his uncle has owned it for ‘over thirty years’ and that the store is a well-loved presence in the community.
He continued: “The other guy then laid into me and started kicking my stomach and ribs, and the other man was punching me. He said: ‘If you move, I’ll stab you.’ So I stopped. They took the money from the till, boxes of cigarettes and booze and then ran away.”
Unfortunately, the robbers were wearing masks and gloves, making them hard to identify. They have been described as slim. The man who waited outside the shop was described as white, about 5ft 7ins tall, and wore a light coloured hooded top.
Following the frightening incident, Tandeep is not taking any risks. He said: “My uncle helps me now. There are always two people present in the shop. We are going to have 16 CCTV cameras instead of eight so that all areas are covered.
“I think they were watching me for a while outside, and they knew that I was the only person in the store. The community have been amazing and supported us.”
Detective Constable Clare Fisher, of Leeds District CID, said: “Although the offenders had their faces covered and the CCTV is of fairly low quality, we hope the images may assist in jogging someone's memory if they saw the men in the area around the time of the robbery.
“One man appears to be wearing a dark top with a distinctive pattern on the back and we want to hear from anyone who thinks they know who may have been involved.”
Anyone with information is urged to call DC 4159 Fisher at Elland Road via 101 quoting crime reference 13160023536 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.