A BEAUTICIAN today described how she was threatened with a knife by a robber who struck at her hair salon.
Kim Dennison was working alone at the shop when the robber marched inside and said: “Open the till, I’m robbing you.”
The brave 25-year-old refused at first, but relented after the man told her he was carrying a blade.
Just minutes previously, the same man had called at the VIP Nails & Beauty Salon in East Main Street in Broxburn and asked if he could get a haircut.
The robber made off with £40 and even scooped up a handful of pound coins from the till before fleeing at around 5.50pm on Thursday.
Ms Dennison said: “I was sitting at the reception desk when a man came in and asked if he could get a haircut.
“I told him the hairdresser was next door and he left again. About two minutes later he came back and walked up to the reception desk with his hand in his pocket.
“He said to me, ‘Open the till, I’m robbing you’. I was taken aback, but told him ‘no’ and then he said he had a knife. His hand was in his pocket so I couldn’t see what he had.
“I opened the till and he reached over to grab the notes. He pulled up the coin holder looking for more notes, but there wasn’t any, so he grabbed the pound coins and dropped the rest on the desk.”
Ms Dennison saw the robber run down Greendykes Road before she called the police.
Police are now hunting the suspect, who is described as white, between 25 and 30 years old, 5ft 9in tall with a thin build, short dark hair and thin face. He was wearing a dark top, dark jeans and spoke with a local accent.
Despite her ordeal, Ms Dennison returned to her shop yesterday to continue her business, which she only started in January.
She said: “I was shocked by what had happened. It left me shaken up but I had clients booked and I have to get on with things.”
Detective Constable Peter Budd said: “This was a very frightening experience, though, thankfully, she wasn’t injured. Nevertheless, she has been left badly shaken and we are now keen to hear from anyone who remembers seeing anything suspicious in or around the store on Thursday evening.
“Similarly anyone who recognises the description of the suspect and believes they can help us locate him is also asked to contact police immediately.”
Councillor George Paul, West Lothian’s services for the community leader, said: “We would appeal for anyone with information on this despicable crime to contact the police as soon as possible.
“It’s appalling to put a young woman through such an alarming incident, so it’s vital the individual responsible is traced and brought to justice.”