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  • Fundraising page set up to help shop owner after machete raid

    Ollie Cowan

    FUNDRAISERS have rallied round a Crossens shopkeeper after he was subjected to a harrowing armed raid in the early hours of Sunday morning.

    Nearly £250 has been raised to help the owner of Freshway on Rufford Road in Crossens following an armed raid where two men burst into the store shortly after 7am armed with a gun and a large knife – believed to be a machete – before threatening staff and leaving with £200 in cash and a handful of cigarettes.

    One of the shop assistants on site suffered an injury to their face and was taken to hospital for treatment.

    Sniffer dogs were also used to try and trace the weapons, which officers suspected may have been dumped in nearby bushes.

    Now the local community have rallied round staff and the shop’s owner, named locally as Baboo, in a bid to raise as much money as possible to cover the costs of the thefts and help repair the damage caused to the shop.

    A spokesperson for Merseyside Police said: “One of the men was wearing a grey North Face hooded top, dark grey shorts and black and white trainers and the second one was wearing a black North Face hooded top, black bottoms and black shoes.

    “Both had green scarves covering their faces and were carrying a green drawstring bag.

    “It is believed they turned left when they exited the shop and then turned right into Brade Street.”

    Detective Inspector Steve Reardon added: “This was a particularly nasty robbery.

    “The shop assistant was simply going about their business and thankfully is not badly hurt but it is vital that we catch the people responsible and bring them to justice.

    “I would appeal to anyone who was in the vicinity of Rufford Road who may have seen anything suspicious or saw two men fitting the descriptions of the men either entering the shop or running along Rufford Road or Brade Street afterwards to get in touch.

    “Any information may be vital to the investigation.”

    Local resident Mark Culshaw was so shocked by the events that he immediately set up an online fundraising page to help Baboo and his staff get back on their feet following the ordeal.

    He said: “Our local shop Freshway was subject to an armed robbery.

    “Everyone in our village knows Baboo.

    “He's a nice guy who takes care of all of us every time we walk into his shop.

    “We can't erase the memory of this morning but we can raise the cash to refund the stolen cash and replace the stock that was taken.

    “Let's show him that we care!”

    To donate to the appeal visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mark-culshaw.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police on 0151 777 3094 or 0151 777 3931 or the Crimestoppers line anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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