Phone shop owner attacked with hammer by masked robbers

·3-min read

Watch: Moment masked robbers raid phone shop in middle of the day and attack owner with hammer

CCTV footage shows the moment balaclava-clad robbers rushed into a phone shop and attacked the owner with a hammer.

Muhammad Fahad, 40, owner of Fone City in St Albans, Hertfordshire, is seen standing behind the counter when the assailants enter the store.

One of them runs up to the father-of-three and grabs him, leading to a struggle in which Fahad briefly restrains the robber from behind.

The thief is shown repeatedly hitting the shopkeeper in the back of the hand with a hammer as he tries to break free.

The second robber can be heard saying, "chill" and "you don't want to do this" - suggesting Fahad would end up hurt if he carried on resisting.

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CCTV shows two robbers at Fone City store in St Albans, Hertfordshire on Sunday, 19 March 2023
Shop owner Muhammad Fahad said he thought of his daughters and decided to stop resisting. (SWNS)

He then stops and stands there while one thief keeps a close watch and the other clears phones from a display shelf and stuffs them into his duffle bag.

Fahad, who bought the shop in January, said he "thought of his daughters" the moment he decided to stop fighting during the raid on Sunday, 19 March.

He added: "When I talk about it, I want to cry. I feel very emotional about it all. Those people don’t understand how difficult it is to run an independent business.

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"I took a loan out to establish it and work for a better future for my daughters. I invest everything into the business and don’t take a penny for myself.

"When the attacker said to me ‘don’t push us, we will kill you’ or something like that, my three daughters came to mind and I gave in. Coming to work every day is not easy."

Muhammad Fahad's injured hand after two robbers raided Fone City store in St Albans, Hertfordshire on Sunday, 19 March 2023
Fahad, 40, suffered minor injuries on the back of his hand. (SWNS)

Fahad, whose daughters are nine, seven and two years old, received minor injuries to his hand including bruising, but no bones were broken.

His other member of staff who helps him run the shop is now nervous to go back to work, meaning Fahad is now working seven days a week to keep the business going.

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Fahad, who owns another shop in Wembley, north London, says he has never experienced anything like this before.

"I moved to St Alban’s because I thought it was a safe place. I now get scared whenever people come into the shop" he said.

"I’m struggling but I will continue and fight for justice."

Get well cards and money sent by the daughters of Muhammad Fahad after robbers raided Fone City store in St Albans, Hertfordshire on Sunday, 19 March 2023
Fahad's two eldest daughters wrote him get well cards and gave them £5 each from their savings. (SWNS)

In a heart-warming gesture, his two eldest daughters wrote him get well cards and each gave him £5 from their money boxes to help with his financial losses.

In one card, Ayeza wrote: "To Papa, I hope you are feeling ok and I just want to make sure that you know I love you and I will always love you.

"I hope you are feeling ok in the hospital and I hope your hand is feeling ok."

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Hertfordshire Police are now appealing for information to help track down the pair, described as black men in their early twenties.

Detective Sergeant Mark Chipchase, from the St Albans Local Crime Unit, said: "We are carrying out enquiries into the incident which was a frightening ordeal for the shop staff.

"‘It took place in the middle of the day and so we are asking for any witnesses or anyone with information about it to get in touch."