‘Gun’ wielding man wearing Halloween costume attacks victim in attempted shop robbery near Dorking

November 8, 2018
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A “gun” wielding man wearing a Scream mask and skeleton costume hit a shop owner over the head during an attempted robbery.

Surrey Police attended the incident at approximately 7.20am on Thursday (November 8) and are appealing for witnesses.

Minor injuries were suffered by the man, 55-year-old Mukesh Patel, who part-owns Capel News in Capel, near Dorking.

Mr Patel then chased the attacker from the store and it remains unknown where the suspect went after fleeing.

Mr Patel’s father and majority owner of the shop, who recently celebrated 30 years of trading, Suryakant Patel confirmed the incident on Thursday (November 8) afternoon.

He said: “He came to rob the shop with a gun and was in a scuffle with my son.

“He ran away, he came with a gun and a mask so we didn’t know [who it was]. We can only identify that he was a white man.”

Following the initial reports, Surrey Police released information about the incident and suspect.

Police said that he entered the store donning the Halloween themed costume and holding a “grey item described as a pistol”, before demanding money from the till and striking his victim over the head.

A Capel resident, who knows the Patel family well, has expressed her devastation at the news that a much-loved local newsagents had been targeted.

“I am really devastated that this has happened to those people and it makes me quite upset,” said Jane Nevin, 55. “He [Mukesh Patel] is a great man and that whole family, they are absolutely a pillar of our community.

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“Of all the people in all the world it should never be them. This shouldn’t happen in a leafy village. It’s making me very scared.”

Mrs Nevin also said that she had visited the shop following the incident to see the family, saying that the shop had initially been cordoned off.

Police Inspector Andy Adams, who is investigating the incident, says that the force would like to speak to anybody who was in the area around the time of the incident.

He added: “This was understandably a terrifying incident for the victim, who was brave and chased the suspect out of the store. At this stage it is unknown where the suspect went after they fled the store, so if you have any information that may help piece this together, please contact us.

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“I would like to reassure the local community that we are doing all we can to trace the person involved in this incident.”

Echoing other sentiments, Mole Valley District Councillor for Beare Green Michelle Watson said that the incident was “shocking”.

She said: “They are a lovely family and for them to be targeted the way they have is an absolute shock and I hope that the police will put all their resources into finding him [the attempted robber].”

Anyone with information that may help identify the suspect can contact Surrey Police on 101 (999 in an emergency) or surrey.police.uk/ReportIt, quoting reference PR/45180119419.

Information can also be given anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111; or through their anonymous online form: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/.

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/gun-wielding-man-wearing-halloween-15390271


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