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Devizes shop owner defies knife-wielding robber
The owner of Hillworth Stores in Devizes has praised the community for coming to her aid when she was threatened at knifepoint by an attempted robber on Sunday afternoon.
Maria Johnson, who runs the convenience store with her partner Steve Nicholls, was behind the counter at around 2.40pm when a young man came in.
Mrs Johnson said: "He had his hand inside his coat and I stood up to serve him when he came in. He said, I need you to do something for me. When I asked what, he pulled out this knife with a ten-inch blade and said, give me the money.
"I said no and started screaming. Steve, who was out the back, heard me and came running in. The bloke turned round and ran off.
"It took me a few minutes to gather my wits and call the police but within 20 minutes they had caught someone."
Mrs Johnson was particularly touched by the response of the community in Hillworth Road. She said: "Within a few minutes of people hearing about it, they were out looking for the chap. That is the kind of community we live in and why I love Devizes.
"I was glad that it was me in the shop and not one of my staff. I'm all right. I've lived in Bristol and this sort of thing has happened to me before but if it had been someone else it could have shaken them up really badly.
"I am asking my customers to be aware of anyone hanging about outside the shop. He must have been stood there for some time to know I was on my own."