Knife-point robber tackled by trader
Updated 10:37am Thursday 15th May 2014 in By Beren Cross, @BerenCross
A KNIFE-POINT robber went after one till too many on Tuesday when he was disarmed and chased away by corner shop employee Nagaraj Valliyapan.
A 24-year-old Swindon man has been arrested in connection with the incident at Juniper Stores, in Marigold Close, Haydon Wick, and two others within the past week.
Wiltshire Police are linking the man with knife-point robberies at McDonald’s in Great Western Way on May 9 and The Co-op in Moredon Road on May 11.
Soon after leaving Juniper Stores at 6.25pm, the man went on to steal an elderly woman’s purse in Moredon Road. She was not injured.
More than £600 was taken during the robberies at McDonald’s and The Co-op.
At Juniper Stores the man parked his bicycle outside and rummaged around the shelves, before pulling a six-inch blade on Mr Valliyapan, who wrestled the robber to the floor, taking his knife but being punched in the face.
Shop manager Saravanamuthu Sigavalan, 39, said he was extremely proud of his staff member, who was assisting police, but concerned he could have been hurt or killed on what was his 49th birthday.
“He was very shocked when he came into the back room afterwards,” he said.
“I was watching a cartoon with my son and only had one eye on the CCTV as it was happening.
“I’m proud of him, but I didn’t want him to hurt himself.
“I would rather the robber had just taken what he wanted.
“If something happened, it’s his life. I don’t want to be responsible. He could have easily been stabbed.”
The till unit was knocked from the desk during the fight and will need repairing. Bottles of alcohol were also knocked from the shelf, but no property or cash was stolen in the incident.
Mr Sigavalan, who is expecting his second child this morning has managed the store for 12 years, but said nothing like this had ever happened before.
“That’s why we don’t advertise outside on the main road. We only want to serve people from our local community,” he said.
“I think he’s thought he got money from the first time, got money from the second place and thought he could get away with it again with us. He’s greedy.”
Mr Valliyapan will now be given a few weeks off from work as he recovers, according to his boss.
A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “The man arrested remains in police custody at this time. Officers from the local Neighbourhood Policing Team will be conducting house to house enquiries in the Moredon area so the public will see an increased police presence in the area.”
Anyone with information on any of the incidents should contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.