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Shopkeeper relives gunpoint terror

PUBLISHED: 11:44 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:18 23 August 2010

A SHOPKEEPER held at gunpoint by an armed robber relives the terrifying 45 second ordeal as he stared down the barrel of a gun. Hemant Rana, 45, and shop assistant Lynda Galether, 45, were working in the Nisa store, Milton Street, Swanscombe when the duo

A SHOPKEEPER held at gunpoint by an armed robber relives the terrifying 45 second ordeal as he stared down the barrel of a gun.

Hemant Rana, 45, and shop assistant Lynda Galether, 45, were working in the Nisa store, Milton Street, Swanscombe when the duo struck last Tuesday.

The men, both wearing masks, burst into the store at 6.45pm and stole about £300 after demanding he open the till as one of them brandished the black gun.

After fleeing with the cash the gunman punched the shopkeeper's wife in the face as she pleaded with passers-by to call the police.

Mr Rana said: "The whole robbery took 45 seconds. Just 45 seconds and it was done and dusted, but still pretty terrifying.

"They both wore mesh masks so you could not see who it was and when someone points a gun at you, you do as you're told and it's frightening.

"The shouted 'don't move, open the till' and within seconds they were gone. The gunman hit my wife in the head but luckily she was not seriously injured.

"I have been here six years and we have not had any trouble like this, it was totally unexpected. We have regular customers who are very nice people and some of them heard what happened and were really shocked."

Mr Rana's wife, Isabel Rana, 45, heard the demands and came downstairs. She immediately ran to the street after seeing them loading the cash into a black sports bag before escaping and punching her as they fled.

He added: "It is still worrying and it can be a bit nervy when someone comes in but we have to get over this and carry on. Hopefully the police will catch them."

His shop assistant has been given some time off work to recover and police are appealing for information.

The raid has been captured on CCTV but both men had their faces covered with stocking or black mesh material and wore gloves.

Detective Sergeant Cameron Riley said: "We think they must have been waiting outside the shop for it to empty of customers so someone may have seen them then. They may also have been witnessed running from the scene as it was not late and people would have been out and about."

The gunman is white, in his late teens or early 20s, tall and slim.

His face was covered and he was wearing a dark coloured three-quarter length jacket, faded light blue jeans and white laced gloves. His accomplice also had his face covered, was slim and shorter than the gunman. Both wore gloves and have local accents. Call Det Sgt Riley on 01474 366092 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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