Knife-wielding robber strikes at city cake shop

Debbie Hingley, at the counter of Capitol Cake Craft, Fratton Road, Portsmouth.      Picture: Allan Hutchings (110386-852)
Debbie Hingley, at the counter of Capitol Cake Craft, Fratton Road, Portsmouth. Picture: Allan Hutchings (110386-852)

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A SHOP assistant has told of her terror after a robber threatened her with a knife and stole the takings at a cake shop.

Debbie Hingley was working at Capital Cake Craft in Kingston Road, North End, when a woman entered and approached the counter clutching a blade.

The 49-year-old was on her own in the store preparing to close up and was about to put the day’s takings in the safe when the robber struck.

Mrs Hingley, who has worked at the shop for about a year-and-a-half, said: ‘It all happened really quickly, it took about 20 seconds.

‘The money bag with the takings from the till was on the counter and my hand was on it – I was leaning on it to open the safe to put the money in. She came out of nowhere. When the door opened I thought it was my husband coming to pick me up.

‘By the time I turned round she had grabbed the bag of money. She just slipped it from under my hand. I lunged over the counter to try and grab her but she ran out.

‘She had a knife on her that she was holding in front of her chest. She wanted me to see it.

‘It looked as though it was about six or eight inches long. I was shocked. I panicked and phoned the police. They were there within about five minutes.’

The robber fled with about £200 at about 4.45pm on Monday. Mrs Hingley says the incident has left her on edge.

She added: ‘We always have such nice people in here. It’s such a shock. It just makes you look at everybody differently. It’s made me suspicious. I’m quite an anxious person anyway so this hasn’t helped.

‘I think she was watching from outside because she came in at exactly the right moment.

‘She is a complete low- life. It’s just a shame that there are people like here who have to do things like this. She upset me and my boss and made everybody on edge.’

The robber is white, aged about 30, 5ft 5in, and of average build with long, straight, brown hair.

She wore a chunky, dark coloured, knitted hat, quilted jacket and blue jeans.

Detective Constable Les Leithes said: ‘She targeted the shop at closing time and got away with £200 in takings which the woman working there had been counting up.

‘There would have been lots of people in the area at the time so someone must have seen the offender.’

Call Det Con Leithes on 101.