Felixstowe: Shopkeepers worried they are “easy targets” for robbers

FELIXSTOWE/TRIMLEY: Shopkeeper Naynesh Patel today told of the traumatic moment a baseball bat-wielding robber threatened to kill him while demanding cash from the till.

“It was very frightening – I have never been so scared,” said Mr Patel, 35, owner of Grange Stores, Grange Road, Felixstowe.

“I said, ‘please don’t hurt me’ and opened my till and tried to stand back.

“You can replace the money, but you cannot replace a person and I was so afraid he would have hit me and killed me or left me disabled.”

The robber, Joshua Taylor, is now starting a 45-month term in a young offenders’ institution.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how the 19-year-old former soldier walked into the store at 6.50pm on March 30 while Mr Patel was working alone.

Taylor raised the bat above his shoulder and told Mr Patel: “Give me your money or I’ll kill you.”

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Mr Patel had handed over �345. Taylor, of Wellington Street, Ipswich, later admitted robbery.

Mr Patel said: “I hope other young people will learn a lesson from what has happened to this young man and think twice before they do something similar.

“Everyone will know now that if you make a mistake and do a crime like this that you will pay for it.”

Meanwhile, a teenager who robbed another Felixstowe storekeeper at knife-point has been locked up for two years.

Aron Harrison, 18, walked into the Premier Express Underwood’s grocery store in Beach Station Road, at 8pm on October 21 with a bag and wearing a crash helmet, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The shopkeeper pushed a panic button and Harrison left the store after grabbing �75 worth of cigarettes, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Harrison, of Grange Road, Felixstowe, admitted robbery and possessing an offensive weapon and was sentenced to 24 months in a young offenders’ institution.

n Has your life been turned upside down by violent crime? Call The Evening Star news desk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk