Attack at news shop

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A hooded raider burst into a town centre newsagents and slammed a wooden bat on to the counter before stealing cash.

The owner of Dieks News, Leyland Lane, Leyland, was on his own behind the till at the store in Leyland Lane, Leyland, when the incident happened on Wednesday afternoon.

Detectives investigating the case say a man wearing a dark hooded top and with a face covering - possibly a scarf - covering his face burst into the store at around 4.15pm.

He produced a small wooden bat and banged it on the counter of the shop.

He then leaned over the counter and forced the till open with his left hand before reaching inside, stealing cash and running off.

Police believe he stole just £20.

The owner of the shop, a 48-year-old man, said he did not wish to comment as he was still coming to terms with the raid, was unharmed but left feeling angry after the robbery.

Detectives are studying CCTV images of the incident, but have appealed for any information about the man or the weapon he was carrying.

Det Cons Dave Johnson, of South Ribble CID, said: “We treat all offences like this very seriously and we are appealing for any information from any members of the public who may have any idea who the offender is or may have seen this bat.”

He said that the use of the bat to hit the counter was designed to scare the owner into letting him steal the cash and so the offence is being treated as a robbery.

The offender is described as a white man, around 5ft tall, in his early 20s and of medium build.

He was wearing a dark coloured hooded top with the hood up, a dark coloured face covering, dark coloured gloves and dark coloured tracksuit bottoms. He is believed to speak with a local accent.

Police also said the bat had a distinctive look. It was around 2ft long and had black insulation tape wrapped around it.

After the man ran from the shop he is believed to have run to the back of shops opposite the Original Seven Stars pub.

Anyone with information should call South Ribble CID on 01772 415847 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.