Robber leaves before bat comes out

BLAIR ENSOR
Last updated 23:57 20/02/2013
Dairy owner Seema Gandhi
CRAIG SIMCOX/Fairfax NZ
NO HOLDING BACK: Dairy owner Seema Gandhi with the cricket bat she planned to use to defend her shop.

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As Seema Gandhi stared down the barrel of the pistol she couldn't help but ask the masked man if it was real.

"Shut up, it's a robbery - just put all the money in my bag," was his response.

Mrs Gandhi began grabbing fists full of cash from the till, but as she was about to give it to him she changed her mind, ducked behind the counter and ran out a back door of her shop, the Smile Dairy in Petone.

"I don't know what was clicking in my mind."

She grabbed her son's cricket bat and came back to confront the robber, but he'd left empty-handed and was last seen walking down Nelson St about 2.30pm on Tuesday.

Mrs Gandhi, 43, who has owned the dairy for more than three years, was back behind the counter yesterday.

She recalled seeing the young man, aged about 17, walk through her door, hiding his face with a black bandanna before he pointed the pistol at her face and demanded cash.

"I was thinking the pistol wasn't real, but I wasn't sure.

"I wasn't scared, but now I'm thinking I shouldn't have done this kind of thing [I should have] just given him the money."

Detective Sergeant Christiaan Barnard said the man was wearing a light grey hoodie and black pants.

"He had a dark backpack with a red design on the front."

He appealed for anyone who saw suspicious activity in Hutt Rd or Richmond St about the time of the incident to contact Hutt Valley police on 04 560 2600 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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- The Dominion Post

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