Batley shopkeeper stunned in 17-second knife raid terror

A shopkeeper told of his terror after a dramatic knifepoint raid - for National Lottery scratch cards.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 15th October 2020, 11:47 am
Updated Thursday, 15th October 2020, 11:48 am

Mohammed Kaji, 62, was behind the counter at Soothill Newsagents in Soothill Lane, Batley, when two hooded and masked raiders burst in.

One of them, believed to be a woman, thrust a bag containing a weapon through the security screen while her accomplice, a man, rushed up and ripped the scratch card dispenser and display unit off the counter.

Both fled and the raid - lasting just 17 seconds - was captured on CCTV.

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Mr Kaji outside his newsagents in Soothill Lane

Mr Kaji, who has run the former post office with wife Hazir for 29 years, said: “It was frightening and it all happened so quick.

“The woman showed me a bag and I thought it had a gun inside but I found out later it was a knife. I jumped up and set the alarm off and the man grabbed the scratch card dispenser and they both ran out.”

Mr Kaji said the raiders, desperate for cash, scratched the stolen cards nearby and claimed £70 in winnings from a local shop before Camelot had chance to cancel them.

The raid happened at 7.50am on Saturday and police were quickly on the scene. The shop was closed for about three hours while police began their investigations.

Mr Kaji said he was now fearful when opening the shop early in a morning. He said there were two similar robberies in September last year. Raiders escaped with cigarettes in one but left empty-handed in the other.

Mr Kaji wanted to thank the local community for their support and good wishes since Saturday’s raid.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police confirmed a man and a woman have been charged in connection with the incident.

James Dransfield, 32, of Field Head Gardens, Dewsbury was charged with robbery and Tina Glover, 35 of Howley Walk, Batley, was charged with robbery and possession of a knife in a public place.