Southsea shop worker thwarts knife-wielding robbers – then finishes her shift

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A BRAVE shop worker confronted a knife-wielding pair of masked robbers, forcing them to flee empty-handed – and then continued her shift.

Working alone at Bargain Booze, in Elm Grove, Southsea, Kala Eswaran told how her heart stopped as she thwarted the knife-point raid.

The two robbers walk into Bargain Booze in Elm Grove

The two robbers walk into Bargain Booze in Elm Grove

The 29-year-old grabbed hold of one of the men’s arms as he pulled a blade from a plastic bag – stopping him from getting anything but the handle into view.

They shouted at her to open the till and one lashed out when she refused.

Kala said: ‘I held his hand so he couldn’t take out the knife. At the same time I pushed the panic button.

‘I totally blanked my mind with what I was doing at that time, I was so scared.

Kala Eswaran, 29, was working on her own in Bargain Booze, in Elm Grove, Southsea when two masked men armed with a knife burst in and tried to rob her

Kala Eswaran, 29, was working on her own in Bargain Booze, in Elm Grove, Southsea when two masked men armed with a knife burst in and tried to rob her

‘My heartbeat totally stopped I wanted to escape and protect myself and at the same time protect my shop.

‘I shouted: “Please! Is anyone coming?”.

CCTV footage shows the men bursting into the shop and coming round the counter to confront Kala as she grabs one of them.

He then moves off towards the storeroom as the other man stands guard.

The second man goes to the till before they both walk calmly to the door as if to go – but return to Kala behind the till.

Just 40 seconds after walking in, the men leave.

Kala said: ‘I never expected it. Sometimes people come to steal, that’s usual. I ban those people, but these two were totally different.

‘Afterwards I worked my shift, I finished at 11pm. I thought if I’m scared I can’t work next time. I told myself: “You’re facing the problem”.’

Minutes after the 6.10pm attempted robbery on Sunday a customer walked in, followed by police, who are now investigating the crime.

The men were in their late 20s, thin and had masks. One of them was 5ft 8in and wore gloves and a black leather jacket with a zip. He had the bag. The other man was about 5ft 6in and wore a blue hooded top.

Det Con Gemma Tullett said the incident was ‘isolated’. She said: ‘The victim was not hurt and nothing was taken, but this was a distressing incident for her.

‘This happened early on Sunday evening and Elm Grove is a busy area, so I’m keen to hear from anyone who may have seen both men, either just before or after this attempted robbery.’

Call police on 101 quoting 44170431365.