Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 2 February 2014





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Government Gazette

Lankan woman cashier thwarts gas station robbery

A woman cashier was captured on CCTV bravely struggling with two men who were trying to rob the petrol station where she works. Rasika Yakanwala, 27, grappled with the two thieves who came into the station on 27 May last year.

CCTV footage:Rasika drags the robber across the counter

Manny Buckland puts up a vain struggle

Sri Lankan Rasika Yakanwala

They had hoped to steal cash from the tills while she was working alone.

But Manny Buckland, 39, to his shock of his life found himself dragged over the counter when he tried to reach for the money at the small garage in Clifton, Bedfordshire.

Ms Yakanwala pulled his hair and held on to him and, during the struggle, he toppled over the counter and landed on top of her.

His accomplice Stuart Battams, 41, attempted briefly to intervene, but then changed his mind.

Even after Buckland had landed on top of Ms Yakanwala, she held on to him as he tried to wriggle out to escape back over the counter, and chased both the men out of the building.

The CCTV footage shows the robbers, who failed to take anything of value, in their second botched attempt of the day. They have been driven between the locations by a friend.

At the first target, a convenience store, Buckland also tried to take cash from the till, but was grabbed by a shop attendent and had to wriggle out of his jacket to escape.

The two men were jailed last month at Luton Crown Court. Buckland pleaded guilty to the two charges of burglary and was jailed for two years. Judge Philip Bartle QC said: 'These were two small establishments targeted by the two of you over a holiday period at 5 p.m., the likelihood being that there would be few if any customers.

'There was an element of planning and disguise. Whether or not you were on drink or drugs is not mitigation and you both have very bad records.'


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