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Meat cleaver held to shop worker's throat in Wolverhampton robbery

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | Crime | Published:

The robber attempted to get away in a Range Rover before fleeing on foot when he couldn’t start the car.

Stills from a video show a robber grappling with Koral Lubke as he tries to snatch a bag at The Tanning Rooms in Oxley, pictured on Google Street View bottom right

A tanning shop worker had a meat cleaver held to her throat during a terrifying robbery.

The robber burst into The Tanning Rooms in Oxley, Wolverhampton, demanding cash from the till.

He also snatched a bag from a worker and attempted to get away in a Range Rover outside, before fleeing on foot when he couldn’t start the car.

When worker Koral Lubke attempted to escape, the crook blocked the front door and held the knife to her throat, before locking her in a back room.

He got away with around £500 and police have now launched an appeal to try to catch the thief.

Miss Lubke said: “He came in with a meat cleaver and wanted the till, so I gave him what was in the till. He took my bag, there was a fair bit of money in there.

“I managed to fight him off a little bit to give the other girl a chance to run out the back. I tried to run but he put the meat cleaver to my neck.

“I was petrified, I froze. I don’t think he would have hurt me. He panicked when the other lady ran out of the shop.”

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The 23-year-old worker managed to escape through a back gate where she saw the man give up his attempts to rob the car and take off on foot.

The robber entered the shop in Hampton Road at around 2.30pm on Friday, wearing a cap, glasses. No customers were in the shop at the time.

Miss Lubke said the team had been left shaken by what happened and were thankful nobody was hurt.

She said: “I’m a bit on edge. I haven’t really slept. We’re all a bit shook up.”

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Manager Tina Purcell, who has run the shop for 19 years and raced to the shop after finding out about the robbery, said: “She rang me and I went straight away. I just feel sorry for my girls.

"I wish I’d have been here. I have never had one bit of trouble in this shop.”

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: “Police are investigating after being called to reports of an armed robbery at a tanning shop in Hampton Road, Wolverhampton at around 2.30pm on Friday, July 7.

“A man holding a large knife entered the shop and forced the shop worker to give him the money from the till.

"He then snatched a handbag from another member of staff before attempting to make off in her car. After failing to start the car, the suspect ran off.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101, quoting crime number 20WV/152584W/18.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Chief Reporter - @RichG_star

Chief Reporter for the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton.

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