Village shop owner describes confrontation with armed robber

Spar North Road Ormesby targeted by armed burglars

The Spar in North Road Ormesby was targeted by burglars. Two men have been arrested. - Credit: Liz Coates

A shop owner has described how he was woken in the early hours by two men smashing their way through the front door with a slab of concrete.

Chris Calnon, co-owner of the Spar convenience store and post office in North Road, Ormesby, near Great Yarmouth, was asleep upstairs with his partner in the early hours of Tuesday when the shop was targeted.

The 29-year-old said he headed to the front of the store where one man in a red Ford Focus was waiting to collect another already loaded with cigarettes and alcohol grabbed from shelves and stuffed into bags.

Having demanded he put the bags down, the man who was armed with a hammer threatened him.

Two men have been arrested after Spar in Ormesby was burgled. 

Two men have been arrested after Spar in Ormesby was burgled. - Credit: Archant

Meanwhile Mr Calnon's father, who lives nearby, arrived at the scene and managed to come up from behind and seize the weapon.

A tussle ensued before the men got away.

"I was not really thinking," Mr Calnon said.

"It is only afterwards you realise how things could have gone wrong."

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He said the two men had broken off a piece of garden wall to use as a battering ram, smashing in the bottom half of  the door.

Once inside they prised open the cigarette cabinet and grabbed bottles of alcohol, smashing some in the process.

Mr Calnon hailed the police for their quick response, arriving within six minutes and already having patrol cars out looking for the attackers.

"They get a lot of bad press but the police were there for us," he said.

Following the drama the shop was able to open later than usual at 11am.

Parish councillor Geoff Freeman said it was rare for violence to visit Ormesby.

He said: "These things do not happen in Ormesby. I cannot remember anything like this in our parish.

"When you have a robbery with violence it is bit concerning because we live in a quiet part of the county. Thankfully it's not something that happens often."

Police said in a statement that following the incident at 3.40am on Tuesday two men in their 30s had been arrested on the suspicion of aggravated burglary and were being questioned.

Norfolk Police say officers from the local Safer Neighbourhood Team will be conducting reassurance patrols in the area.

Anyone with information should contact Great Yarmouth CID on 101 quoting 36/11900/22. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers 100pc anonymously on 0800 555 111.