This is the bizarre moment a hero shopkeeper was captured on CCTV fighting off a knife-wielding robber with a set of STEP LADDERS.

Crook Ben Blackmore, 37, demanded cash and cigarettes when he burst into a shop waving the ten-inch blade.

He threatened terrified Hasumati Patel, 62, who alerted her shopkeeper husband Natvar Patel, 65, who was in a back room.

Granddad-of-two Mr Patel quickly grabbed a set of aluminium step ladders and hit Blackmore as he lunged at him with the knife.

Dramatic footage of the raid was captured on the shop’s CCTV which showed Mr Patel hitting Blackmore over the head with the ladders.

After being forced back, Blackmore fled Parkfield Stores, in Wolverhampton, West Mids., on May 17 with a pack of cigarettes.

Incredibly, Mr Patel chased Blackmore out of the shop, jumped in his car and picked up a friend before spotting the thief at a nearby bus stop.

The pair rang 999 and police arrived on the scene within minutes and arrested Blackmore who was in possession of the knife and stolen cigarettes.

Blackmore, of no fixed address, pleading guilty to robbery and was jailed for two years and eight months at Birmingham Crown Court on June 17.

Dad-of-two Mr Patel, who has run the shop with his wife for 35 years, said: “I was in the back and I went rushing out when I heard the security buzzer.

“I could see the man standing with the knife in his hand and I shouted: ‘What the f**k do you want?’

“He wanted money so I said: ‘Okay I will go and get you the money’.

“I went out the back and picked up the ladders from the room behind the shop and raced at him with them.

“I was pushing him and trying to get the knife and he kept backing off.

“He turned towards the door and I whacked him over the back of the head and he ran off.

“Then I chased him in my car and we found him about ten minutes’ walk away at the bus stop.

“We were on the phone to the police and they turned up and arrested him.

“He only had a pack of cigarettes from us so he has paid a high price for them.

“I have no regrets, I would do it again to protect my shop.”

His wife Mrs Patel said she was alone behind the till when the robber came in and asked for a pack of cigarettes.

She added: “He looked just like a normal customer and he asked for a pack of ten cigarettes.

“I asked for the £3.90 and he took out the knife from his pocket. He told me to open the till and said he wanted money.

“I managed to press the buzzer to call for help and my husband came out quickly from the back.

“He was pushing the man with the ladders and managed to get him to run outside.

“It was all over in 45 seconds but I was so scared. My husband is a hero.

“I told him not to do it next time but he said why should we give him the money. We are glad he has been sent to jail.”

The court heard Mr Patel received minor injuries to his hands as he used the step ladders to try to flick the weapon out of Blackmore’s grasp.

Speaking after the hearing, Acting Detective Sergeant Andy Higgins, from West Midlands Police, said: “The plucky shopkeeper didn’t stop there.

“After checking on his wife, he jumped in his car, picked up a pal and drove in the direction of where Blackmore had been heading.

“The friend dialled 999 and, after spotting the offender, relayed the information to us as they followed him to a bus stop.

“Two officers were with him within minutes and he was arrested still in possession of the knife and the cigarettes.

“I wouldn’t advocate challenging anyone waving a large knife, but luckily in this case the shopkeeper was relatively uninjured and helped us put a dangerous man behind bars.”


    • Overseeing countless major stories that have spawned over a career more than three decades long, our editor Andrew became one of the UK’s youngest ever staff reporters when he landed a job on the Today newspaper during the mid-80s. With news in his veins and being the son of the great Daily Mirror journalist Syd Young, Andrew is now a director at news agency SWNS.

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