A BRAVE shopworker who tackled armed robbers has spoken for the first time about the terrifying ordeal.
Martin Storey was stacking shelves at the Co-operative store in Llangollen when two balaclava-clad men stormed into the shop demanding money from the till.
The 19-year-old has now revealed how he wrestled one of the knife-wielding robbers to the floor during the evening raid.
He said: “As soon as the men stormed into the shop and started shouting to open the till I knew it was the real thing.
“We’re not used to this kind of thing happening here but there was no time to think – I just acted.”
Mr Storey’s first response was to rush to the door and lock it so the robbers, named in court as Geraint Hargreaves and Nathan Hughes, could not escape.
“Four customers made a run for it but another two were too scared to move.
“I’d seen one of the men approach the 17-year-old girl who was on one of the tills but from where I stood I couldn’t see the knife in his hand.
“After I’d gone to the door one of the men came over to me and before I knew what was going on we were in a struggle.
“I wrestled him to the floor and it was then that I saw the knife – it looked like a 10 inch blade – fall to the ground.
“I couldn’t believe it.”
Mr Storey, of Acrefair, described how the attacker, Hargreaves, also dropped a bag of money and that cash was strewn all around.
He said he wanted to detain the pair but that they escaped through a fire exit.
However, they were soon apprehended by the police and on Monday, at Caernarfon Crown Court, they were each jailed for four-and-a-half years after they pleaded guilty to robbery and possessing a kitchen knife.
Judge Merfyn Hughes QC commended Mr Storey and his colleagues for their bravery.
James Thrussell, duty manager at the Regent Street store, said Mr Storey has since become the shop hero.
He said: “We’re very proud of his bravery.
“Some of our staff were very shaken up and the 17-year-old girl, who genuinely feared she would be hurt, is still traumatised by what happened.
“But Martin has already stood up to another would-be thief who was trying to get away with a crate of beer.”
Since the attack Mr Storey has been honoured for his bravery at a North Wales Police awards ceremony but he downplayed his bravery and said he would not have been so quick to intervene if he had known the pair were armed with a knife.
He added: “I acted without thinking – you just don’t expect someone to have a knife. So I’d say I’ve learnt to be more cautious in the future.”
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