Video: CHRISTCHURCH: Postmistress describes armed robbery as 'just one of those things'.
A POSTMISTRESS who was held at gun point during an armed raid today described the terrifying incident as just one of those things. Michelle Coxall who runs the Christchurch Post Office spoke out less than 24 hours after two balaclava-clad robbers stole
By: TOM JACKSON
A POSTMISTRESS who was held at gun point during an armed raid today described the terrifying incident as “just one of those things.”
Michelle Coxall who runs the Christchurch Post Office spoke out less than 24 hours after two balaclava-clad robbers stole a “substantial amount of cash” from her shop.
The masked robbers struck at the Church Road store shortly before 5pm, moments after the postman collected the day’s post.
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One of the men entered the shop while his accomplice waited outside by the door, and demanded Mrs Coxall hand over money from the till and the safe in the post office.
The village shop remains open for business – but the post office will remain closed today.
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And, with the post office due to close on January 9 as part of Post Office Ltd’s nationwide closure scheme, Mrs Coxall is unsure whether it will reopen.
Mrs Coxall, who took over the village store in February, said: “It is just one of those things and we will stay open as usual.” Mrs Coxall said she remembered little of the robbery. Her first thought was for her three-year-old daughter Jessica, who was in a sitting room behind the shop. “As soon as they'd left I just grabbed her and ran to my neighbour's,” she said. “I haven't slept much, I'm still a bit shocked. “I wasn’t going to be a heroine, so I gave them the money. “They were here a good six or seven minutes because they had to wait for the post office safe to open – there is a four minute delay between entering the code and the safe opening.” Bags of money and stamps have been left strewn across the floor of the post office kiosk by the robbers, who left the scene in a vehicle. There were no customers in the shop at the time of the robbery, which happened 30 minutes before closing time. Mrs Coxall’s husband Richard was at work at the time of the robbery, arriving home 20 minutes after the robbers fled. Mr Coxall said incidents such as this are “in the back of your mind to a degree but you don’t think about it”.
The robbers were wearing black balaclavas and dark clothing, and one of the men was carrying what was described as a hand gun.
Det Insp Richard Ryan, who is investigating, said: “A substantial amount of money was stolen in this robbery and I am keen to catch those responsible.
“I am looking for anyone who saw it take place or any people acting suspiciously in the area beforehand.
“This is a rare occurrence for a village like Christchurch and I am confident someone must have seen something unusual in the area.”
Christchurch Post Office is one of four post offices in Fenland that will close, as part of Post Office Ltd’s nationwide closure of 2,500 branches.
The post office was set to close on January 9, but Mrs Coxall said that might change in light of yesterday’s robbery.
“We’ve just been told to close the post office for today,” she said. “We don’t know what the Post Office will decide to do.
“I've got to carry on trying to make a living. We've had quite a run of bad luck.”
CONTACT: Police on 0845 456 4564 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.