She wants to carry on running the shop despite being threatened by a menacing robber.
A defiant Hull shopkeeper has vowed to carry on despite being robbed by a man at knifepoint in a terrifying raid.
Priyanka Bakshi runs S&S Convenience Store on Southcoates Lane and on Wednesday, January 9 she was targeted by Keith Burns who had a long kitchen knife and threatened to kill her if she did not hand over all her money. The brave mum pushed him and chased him out of the shop but he did manage to take off with a haul of £250 to £300.
Even after the terrifying ordeal, Priyanka has carried on running the shop on her own as she has done for 11 years. She was very anxious immediately after the incident but has since settled again.
Priyanka told Hull Live: “My first shop is my home. I’m here every day for around 15 hours. How are you (the robber) invading my home?
“My son said ‘why don’t you close the shop and work with dad where you’ll be around good people and be safe?’ I told him if I close the shop that means your mum is losing the battle. Your mum is the loser.”
Following the incident, Priyanka’s husband has made the shop more secure by putting up glass screens to create a wall between Priyanka and customers when she is behind the counter and a barrier around the side of it to prevent people from gaining access to the till, as Burns did. She is not as worried about serving customers as she was soon after the robbery, but she is still trying to get back to her normal self.
“Before, I used to talk to people and ask how they are and how their day was but now, if it’s someone new, I don’t. My kids used to play around here. I don’t let them now.”
Priyanka added that she is “trying hard” but when she sees someone new, she is still a bit cautious. She is thankful for her customers as she said a lot of them feel like family to her.
After she chased off the robber she was helped by her customers. She was, understandably, very shocked and scared.
Priyanka said: “I was shivering and crying. Two of my customers brought me in. That shock was so hard for me.
“My customer was so nice. She tried to calm me and pat my head. I was laying down clinging to her leg.”
Burns first came into the shop at 8.30am, with his face partially covered and his hood up, and pretended to buy a drink using his card. When he got to the counter to pay he told Priyanka his card wasn’t working and he noticed that she was alone.
He then returned at 9.20am but this time he was wearing a snood and only showing his eyes. He asked for some cigarettes and tried to ‘pinch’ for the e-cigarettes displayed at the front.
Priyanka said: “I told him no, leave it. Suddenly he has a knife in his hand. I swore at him and told him to get out.
“He held the knife close to my stomach and said give me all your money from the till. I’ll kill you if you don’t give me all the money.
“I was shivering. He snatched £20 and some stamps and held out a bag for me to put the cash in.
“He asked for coins and everything. He sat down to pick up the coins and put the knife on the floor.
“I tried to step on the blade so I could try to save myself. I’m a mum-of-two, a wife and a daughter. My visualisation was my kids are crying, what will they do if I die?”
“When he was getting up I pushed him really hard and he fell against the cases of beer. I gave him another push and ran behind him. I tried to grab his jacket.”
After failing to grab Burns she gave up the pursuit and tried to recover from the situation. Priyanka’s husband, who was at work at the time of the robbery, received a call from the police informing him of what happened.
He came to the shop to support and comfort Priyanka, who began clinging to his leg “really hard” after holding on to her customer’s leg before. Her husband took her home and tried to make her feel relaxed but she struggled as she didn’t even want him touch her following her horrific ordeal.
Priyanka said her customers and next door neighbour closed the shop for her while she stayed at home after the incident. Her husband worked from home for the next few days to make Priyanka feel safe and secure.