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Raid victim's contempt for 'rank amateur'du.

Byline: Peter Collins

A PLUCKY 84-year-old Y shopkeeper has told how he dispatched two armed robbers from his store - describing them as "a couple of rank amateurs".

The drama at the Spar store, in Stanwell Road, Penarth, began just before 9pm last Sunday.

Dennis Trounce, who has been running the store for 25 years, was in the back office when he heard a noise in the shop.

He said: "I came out and saw two men behind the counter trying to get into the till, without success.

"One of them said: 'Give us the money,' to which I replied, sarcastically, 'Yes, Y of course.'.

"One of them said he had a knife and I asked to see it. He started patting his pockets to try to find it, but couldn't."

In fact, Mr Trounce did not realise that the robbers actually did have a knife until he saw the shop video of the raid later on.

Mr Trounce, who was hit on the left arm when he refused to hand over any cash, smashing his watch and bruising his wrist, continued: "I could see that they were either a couple of rank amateurs, or terminally stupid.

"I started to crowd them towards the door and noticed that one of them - the taller of the two who didn't speak - had a pack of 200 cigarettes in his hand.

"I continued to ease them out of the door and shut it. I realised he still had the cigarettes and so opened it again. He fell back into the shop and dropped the cigarettes. I then shut him out again."

Mr Trounce was helped by his son, Mark, and a shop assistant.

He went on: "I have been in this business for 25 years. They were dressed to look fearsome with masks but actually they were just a couple of kids.

"If they are more than 19 or 20 years old I'll be surprised. They were unimpressive specimens.

"At first I thought they were dressed up for a fancy dress party. I was a bit startled at first, but I wasn't too bothered."

After ushering the raiders from the store, Mr Trounce's son, Mark, called the police who arrived in three cars and the police helicopter.

Mr Trounce said: "The police arrived mob-handed and did a good job." Mr Trounce joined police in a search of the area. They made off towards Meliden Road but are still at large. Mr Trounce later went to the police station to make a statement.

Detectives have launched an investigation and are currently carrying out a number of enquiries.

Detective Sergeant David Thomas said: "This was a terrifying experience for the staff.

"We would like to hear from anyone who hasn't yet spoken with officers who were in the Spar shop or in the nearby area and witnessed what happened".

Customers have rallied round Mr Trounce, who is a popular figure in the town.

Son Mark said: "I am proud of my father, but I was a bit worried because it could have gone completely the other way. "I was in the toilet when it started and when I came out I could see them tak-k ing a swipe at him before he bundled them out.

"He is not the fighting type, but he certainly won't back down. Everyone knows and likes him around here."

Mark added: "I thought about chasing after them after he had put them outside.

"But unfortunately I'm not as fast as I was."


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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 4, 2014
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