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Shop worker speaks of terrifying moment she was tied up during Honiton antiques raid

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: April 02, 2014

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A SHOP assistant has described the moment a man grabbed her by the throat and tied her up before robbing the business where she has worked for 25 years.

Detectives have issued a fresh appeal for information following the robbery at Banwell Antiques in Honiton High Street.

Sarah, 58, has spoken out in the hope it will encourage anyone with information to come forward.

“He came charging in and grabbed me by my throat and face and shouted at me to turn the alarm off,” she said.

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“I thought he was going to kill me. When he grabbed my throat, I thought, he’s going to strangle me now. He kept saying don’t look at my face, and that he wanted the big rings. When he’d completely cleared the safe he asked for the money, but none is kept here, so then he grabbed my handbag and put it in one of his two kit bags.”

She added: “He said you don’t know how much I need this stuff, they’re going to kill me, I’m dead. He then grabbed me by my shoulders and dragged me into the back room where he bound my feet together with black tape.”

Dramatic video footage of the terrifying moment a woman was tied up in an antiques shop robbery in Honiton, has been released by police in a bid to track down the suspect.

Detectives have issued a fresh appeal for information following the incident at Banwell Antiques on the High Street at around 9am on Saturday, March 22, during which a haul of jewellery was stolen.

Officers are urging members of the public to share the video, which is posted on the Echo’s website, on their social media sites, in the hope someone may recognise the suspect.

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Alternatively, give information anonymously by contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

As previously reported by the Echo, the staff member, who was working alone, was grabbed from behind and tied up by a man as she opened up the shop.

Although not injured, she was left very shaken by the incident and is being supported by officers and her family.

Police initially released a series of CCTV images in a bid to “urgently” trace a man wanted in connection with the incident.

Officers have renewed their appeal for anyone who may recognise him, or who may have seen any suspicious activity in the hours leading up to, and after the incident, to contact them.

Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Simon Davey, said: “We’ve had several positive responses from members of the public since the incident but still have not been able to identify the suspect so are urging people to continue to come forward with information.

“We have released video footage from the shop in the hope, that seeing how the person behaves and walks, could jog someone’s memory and lead to more information which could help with our enquiries.

“We ask that as many people as possible share the video on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter with friends and relatives out of the county.

“We are currently investigating all options of whether the suspect could be local or from further afield.

“The victim is obviously very shaken up by this very scary and unpleasant incident.”

The suspect is described as a white man, of slim build, unshaven, with short dark hair and aged between 30 and 50 years.

He was wearing a blue coat, blue denim jeans, black trainers, a beige coloured flat cap and was wearing a blue rucksack and carrying a black holdall bag.

Officers are also keen to speak to anyone who thinks they may have seen the man in the hours before or after the incident or saw any items of clothing discarded such as a rucksack or hat similar to those captured in the CCTV images.

The victim’s handbag was also stolen during the incident and has still not been recovered, so anyone who thinks they may have any information regarding its disposal is also urged to get in touch.

Officers are also asking anyone who is offered jewellery for sale to contact them.

Among the items taken were gold bangles, bracelets, necklaces and rings.

They include a host of gold, diamonds and precious gems.

Anyone with information should contact Devon and Cornwall Police on 101 quoting log number 467 of March 22.

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