Meat cleaver threat in shop robbery.

AN Exmouth shop assistant has told of the terror he felt when two robbers burst into Hulham Road Stores brandishing a meat cleaver and baseball bat. Alex Harris, 18, was left speechless after robbers wearing balaclavas threatened him with the cleaver and baseball bat.

AN Exmouth shop assistant has told of the terror he felt when two robbers burst into Hulham Road Stores brandishing a meat cleaver and baseball bat.Alex Harris, 18, was left speechless after robbers wearing balaclavas threatened him with the cleaver and bat while demanding he hand over cash and cigarettes, at 8.45pm on Friday.Mr Harris, a Bicton College outdoor leisure student who has worked at the store for 11 months, had, moments before, finished serving a young boy and was about to lock up the shop when the robbers burst through the door, shouting at him to empty the till.He said: "One of them took a meat cleaver out. He held it eight inches away from my throat. The other one had a baseball bat."The one with the meat cleaver said to get all the money in a bag and pushed a Tesco bag at me."I thought 'I am not going to argue', and took the notes out. They were shouting at me to hurry up. The one with the baseball bat began hitting the lottery machine, trying to scare me. That made me hurry up."I wasn't thinking anything at this point. I had tunnel vision and was on autopilot. I just focussed on getting the money out and giving it to them so they could go."They said I wasn't doing it quickly enough so I passed the till to them and they took out what they wanted. They wanted cigarettes and tobacco too."I couldn't believe what was happening to me. When they first came in I thought they were joking around."The offenders made off with �170 in cash.After the robbers left the shop, Mr Harris made his way to the back of the store to telephone shop owners Nigel and Deborah Wells.Mr Wells, who was at nearby garages at the time of the attack, said: "Alex was speechless. The poor lad couldn't get his words out. We phoned the police and they got here within minutes."Police are appealing for anyone who saw two people running along Hulham Road at around 9pm on Friday April 3, to contact them.* A 16-year-old boy and an 18-year-old Exmouth man have been charged with robbery. They have been bailed to appear at Exeter Magistrates Court on Tuesday April 21.


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