A cashier says she has been left ‘traumatised’ after being threatened by a masked man wielding knives in a terrifying attempted raid.
The offender entered the Bargain Booze store on Whalley Road, Accrington armed with two kitchen knives at around 9.40pm on Saturday, October 21 demanding money from the cashier Deanne Shaw.
The 23-year-old fled to the back of the store and called the police before the man made off.
Deanne, who has worked at the store for more than two years, said she has struggled to sleep since and fears returning to work. She said: “This man came in with two really big kitchen knives in his hand and started banging them on the counter and said ‘open the till’.
“I managed to lock myself behind the door and he’s come and tried the door. I managed to ring the police and my dad.
“I can’t close my eyes without seeing him. Since Saturday morning I have only slept for about eight hours, I just can’t go to sleep.”
Deanne added: “I don’t know how I reacted so fast.
“As soon as I saw the knives I was screaming and I didn’t know where to put myself. The police said it could have been a completely different story.
“Now I don’t know if I can even go back to work, but I shouldn’t have to live in fear.”
Store manager Julie Pettet said they were really scared about what happened.
She added: “My assistant manager rang me after it happened and I got a taxi over. When she saw the man with the knife she ran into the back room and locked the door and hit the panic button.
“His face was covered up but you could tell it was a man. She is traumatised by what’s happened.
“I don’t know if she’s going to come back because she is that upset about it.
“I have been here seven years and this is the second time it’s happened.”
Police are searching for a man in connection with the attempted Bargain Booze robbery.
Officers say the offender is described as white, early twenties, around 5ft 7ins tall, of slim build and was wearing a blue navy zip hoodie with white drawstrings and a grey balaclava.
DC Owen Johnson said: “This must have been a terrifying ordeal for the woman working in the shop who thankfully wasn’t hurt and managed to run into the back area.”
It comes less than a fortnight after a robbery at another Bargain Booze store on Union Road in Oswaldtwistle, in which a masked man armed with a kitchen knife demanded money from a female shop assistant, who handed over a ‘couple of hundred pounds’.
After leaving the store at around 9.15pm on Sunday, October 8 he was chased by members of the public down the street but managed to flee.
No arrests have been made in connection with either incident. Lancashire Police are unable to say whether they could be linked. Call 101 quoting incident number 1632 of October 21 for the Whalley Road attempted robbery or log 1637 of October 8 for the Union Road robbery.