A terrified takeaway worker was threatened with a knife and forced to handover cash during a shock robbery by a man she served just minutes earlier.
The female staff member was working alone behind the counter of the Fortune Chinese takeaway on Station Road, Ellesmere Port when the masked man walked in and pointed a knife at her stomach.
Minutes earlier, the unnamed female sold the man chips, before he returned and raided the takeaway at just before 9pm on Friday, January 31.
Speaking to The Pioneer yesterday (Tuesday, February 4), Kylie Wong, owner of the popular takeaway, which has belonged to her family for over 20 years, said the shock robbery had left staff ‘shaken’ and unable to sleep.
“We feel like we are not safe when we go outside,” said Kylie, who said the robber, who had his face covered, only managed to get away with about £150 as the float had already been emptied.
“On that night she couldn’t sleep. She was on her own and her husband was working in the kitchen, but he couldn’t see her from where he was.
“He pointed the knife at her tummy. It was a big knife. It is horrifying.”
Kylie believes the man had been checking out the shop as he came in to buy two portions of chips in the hour before the robbery, and targeted the takeaway just ten minutes after she left, leaving the member of staff alone at the counter.
“I’m horrified he just came in and did this, if he is not caught he could do this to other people,” she said.
“He knew she was alone. It was strange because [when he first came in] he covered his face, but we thought it was because it was cold.”
Kylie, who remembers that the man was ‘young’ and appeared ‘handsome’, said the member of staff no longer felt comfortable working alone on the counter of a night.
“The customers are really nice, we are really well known in the community. We haven’t had any problems before,” she said.
“I don’t understand why he would come into my shop and do this to one of my staff. He has to be caught.”
A full-scale investigation has been launched in a bid to find the robber, with officers conducting door-to-door enquiries and scouring CCTV in the area.
Police have released a description of the wanted man, who is described as white, in his early 20s and of slim build.
He was wearing a navy blue hooded top, a black scarf around his face, black jeans and blue trainers.
Officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have been in the area at the time or saw someone acting suspiciously close to the takeaway.
Detective Constable Robert Moore said: “The member of staff was not injured but was understandably left very shaken by their ordeal. We take any incidents of this nature seriously and are doing all we can to trace the offender.
“Even the smallest amount of information can be useful when piecing together a case.”
Anyone with any information is urged to call Cheshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 901 of February 1 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.