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Police appeal after robbery at Sedgefield petrol station
PETROL station staff have been left traumatised after a late night robbery during which a man pushed a cashier and emptied the till of money.
A man wearing a motorcycle helmet and biking leathers targeted the Esso Service Station, in Sedgefield, just as the cashier was about to shut the doors for the night on Sunday, August 18.
Just before 10pm the worker was putting unsold newspapers outside to be returned to the newsagent when the robber entered the shop and asked to buy a packet of cigarettes.
He handed over some money and when the cashier opened the till to get his change he jumped onto the counter and put both his hands into the till drawer.
The cashier, a local woman in her 20s, tried to shut the till and push him away but he shoved her back and after a brief struggle the cashier pressed a panic button and ran into an office to safely call 999.
The robber then grabbed all of the notes in the till and a bag of coins - almost £250 in total - and ran out of the shop before making his escape on a motorbike.
Franchise owner Gapil Sundaralingam said the incident had shocked the cashier so much she has not worked since and that colleagues are also scared to do evening shifts.
He said: “It was very distressing, she has been off work since because she is scared.
“The business has to stay open but we’ve been struggling to cover the night shifts because the staff are all terrified after this incident and don’t want to work late.
“It happened at a quiet time so we think the person had watched the garage and struck just as the cashier was about the shut the doors.
“After 10pm customers are only served through a hatch.”
PC Jason Quye said: "I would urge anyone with any information to come forward. “This was clearly a very distressing incident for the cashier and I would ask anyone who used this service station around the time mentioned to get in touch."
Anyone with information can contact Durham police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800-555111.
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