A HEROIC shopkeeper fought off a scissor-wielding raider – as the attacker and his accomplice made off with less than a fiver.
The masked thieves entered News 2000, in Roker Avenue, and demanded cash from shop owner Rasaratnam Rahulan, who refused.
But despite ordering a stunned Mr Rahulan to open the till and put money into a bag, he stood his ground and managed to defend himself with a mop stick.
CCTV cameras recorded the drama and detectives are now studying the footage in a bid to track down those responsible for the Sunday night raid.
The robbery is the second in three years at News 2000, after a man with an imitation gun entered and told Mr Rahulan to hand over money in 2011.
“At first I panicked because I didn’t understand what the guy was saying, but I wasn’t phased by it,” said the 36-year-old, who has run the Roker shop for the past eight years.
“We are working hard to make money and I’m not going to just hand over £300 to £400 because someone tells me too.”
After managing to force the till open, the robbers grabbed coins amounting to between £3 and £4. But quick-thinking Mr Rahulan had managed to close the shutters at the front of the shop, meaning the pair fled through the back exit after jumping over the counter.
The man who threatened Mr Rahulan with the scissors dropped them in the store.
“My friend who was working in the shop earlier thinks the two who did it were in the shop on Sunday afternoon, but left without buying anything,” said Mr Rahulan.
“They definitely weren’t regular customers because I didn’t recognise them.”
“They only looked about 17 or 18 to me.” The Echo reported in August 2011 how Mr Rahulan and customer Kevin Bayliss apprehended John Buckley, who demanded money from the News 2000 till while he was armed with what turned out to be a replica gun.
Buckley, then 32, was jailed for four years at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting robbery and being in possession of an imitation firearm.
“We get a few shoplifters and I’ve had some racist abuse, but nothing like this for a few years,” added Mr Rahulan, who has a degree in chemical engineering from Newcastle University.
“I don’t get why people do these things.”
The latest attack happened at about 8.15pm on Sunday.
Both attackers were wearing dark tracksuits and black gloves.
Northumbria Police detectives are now appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to the crime to come forward, quoting reference 1264 09/03/14.
Witnesses should call 101 extension 69191 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.