Elm shopkeeper ‘overwhelmed’ by village’s generosity and community spirit after armed robbery ordeal

Kuldip Sekhon.

Kuldip Sekhon. - Credit: Archant

An Elm shopkeeper has said he will “never forget” the warmth and community spirit shown by villagers who rallied together after his shop was targeted by a masked man armed with a shotgun.

The Elm Londis and Post Office.

The Elm Londis and Post Office. - Credit: Archant

Kuldip Sekhon, 52, has been inundated with cards, gifts and donations after he was assaulted by the gunman and £300 was stolen from Elm Village Store and Post Office on December 21, and the shopkeeper says he is “overwhelmed” by the villagers’ generosity.

“A lot is said about community spirit, but this really is a community,” he said.

“I’ve never known this kind of community togetherness. I’ve had around half a dozen cards, lots of messages and I’ve even had people come in and giving me money.

“They say Christmas is all about the spirit of good will, but that spirit is always here.”

Elm Charity Xmas Lights will now also be raising money to help the victim of the Elm robbery

Elm Charity Xmas Lights will now also be raising money to help the victim of the Elm robbery - Credit: Archant

Mr Sekhon, who moved to Cambridgeshire from the Midlands in August, was left with a black eye and rib and hand injuries following the robbery, which happened at around 7.50pm last Wednesday.

The gunman, who is described as around 5’10” and having a local accent, made off with hundreds of pounds of cash from the shop’s till – but Mr Sekhon believes he was looking for more.

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“It was about 7.50 and a guy walked in wearing a hoodie with the hood up and a grey Halloween mask,” he said.

“He pointed a single-bore shotgun at my face and told me to give him the money.

“I thought it was a prank and first but then he bashed the barrel of the gun into my face.

“I fell to the floor and my ribs and hand still hurt today.

“I gave him all what I had in the till but I think he felt disappointed and short-changed.

“A woman came into the shop and I think that spooked him and he ran off into the night.

“I’ve been in retail for 35 years and have had shops in Wolverhampton and Birmingham and nothing like this has ever happened to me.

“I moved here because it was a nice quiet area, so I didn’t expect something like this to happen. I feel embarrassed that something like this has happened.”

Organisers of the village’s Christmas lights campaign have also dipped into their pockets to support Mr Sekhon, with fundraiser Daryl Ward keen to let him “show we care as a community.”

“This has shown that everyone in the village sees me as one of their own,” added Mr Sekhon.

“They’ve welcomed me into the village and whatever the future holds, I will never forget the warmth they’ve shown me.”

Anyone with information regarding the robbery should contact police on 101, call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 11 or visit https://crimestoppers-uk.org/.