Petrol station raid appeal

THE shocked owner of an Essex petrol station has described how two robbers punched his young cashier in the face and escaped with hundreds of pounds in cash.

THE shocked owner of an Essex petrol station has described how two robbers punched his young cashier in the face and escaped with hundreds of pounds in cash.

The intruders struck at the service station in Kirby Cross near Frinton in the early hours of yesterday morning .

Ian Peters, proprietor of the 24-hour Frinton Road Esso garage, was amazed by the attack, which happened at 4.20am.

“We've never had anything like this ever,” he said.


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“One man punched the cashier in the face, as the other leapt over the counter. Then they bundled him into the office and tried to get him to open the safe.

“They took everything that was in the till and the float money that was ready for the next shift.”

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It was just as the 19-year-old was opening the shop and putting out the previous day's newspapers, that the two suspects arrived at the garage on foot. They even paid for petrol they had poured into a can and a pint of milk before robbing him.

Luckily, the arrival of an early morning shopper enabled John Hooley, from Walton on the Naze, to escape.

“When a customer came to the cash-window of the shop and asked for a can of drink, they ordered Mr Hooley to act normally. So he went round the shop end of the garage, but dashed out of the doors.

“He made a call to the police from the forecourt on his mobile phone and that's when the two men made a run for it,” Mr Peters said.

Earlier that night at around 2.15am the two youths may have visited the garage by car to check it out.

Mr Hooley recognised the men from earlier as they had been driving a maroon BMW convertible.

One was wearing a Burberry style check-patterned jumper and a beige baseball cap. The other wore a grey zip-up hooded top.

According to a police description, both suspects are also white, aged between 20 and 25, with one having a large boil above one eye.

Yesterday, Mr Hooley was resting after his ordeal and nursing a black eye.

“He was pretty miffed – upset that it had happened to him and he'd not been able to stop it,” said Mr Peters. “He's got a bruise on his face, but says he's had worse.”

“A couple of weeks ago we had an opportunist make off with £40 and ten packets of cigarettes – but last night's were different people.

“We've had the usual pilferage and drive-offs, but I've had the garage five years and the people before had it since 1984 and they never had problems of this nature. You wouldn't expect it round here. It's Frinton for goodness' sake.”

Police are appealing for any witnesses or anyone with information to phone Clacton police on 01255 221312 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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