A HERO shopkeeper refused to hand over his takings to a knife-wielding robber – and instead chased him out the shop and down the street.
Mark Caulfield was alone in his store when the armed man burst in brandishing a large kitchen knife and demanding he hand over his cash at around 7.50am on Thursday.
But instead of giving in easily, brave Mark grabbed a pole from behind the counter and chased the man out of the shop.
The shop owner then chased the masked robber down Burnside Road, in Gorebridge, but he was soon lost to sight.
Mark, 46, today refused to label himself a hero, insisting he was “only doing what anyone else would have done”.
But customers have been quick to praise the father-of-one who has traded in the small shop for around 15 years, describing him as “brave” and “honest”.
Mark, from Gorebridge, said: “The shop was empty when he burst in as the schools are still on holiday thankfully.
“I got a bit of a fright when I saw him with his hood up and his face covered with a black scarf but when he shouted ‘give me the f****** money’, I just thought to myself ‘there is no way mate’.
“I haven’t worked all my life to hand over cash to a coward like that, so I grabbed my window pole from behind the counter and waved it at him.
“He just looked terrified and immediately ran out the door. I don’t think he was expecting me to stand up to him.
“I don’t know what possessed me but I chased him out of the shop and then along the street.
“He was much younger and fitter than me so he got away but for a minute there I was determined to catch him.
“Looking back, it was probably a stupid thing to do as he had a big knife, the blade was around six inches, but there was no way he was getting my takings.”
Customer Angela Hay, 39, said: “I think Mark was so brave to chase after the guy but he probably shouldn’t have done it as who knows what could have happened.”
And Courtney Allan, 22, added: “Mark is a brave and honest bloke and it doesn’t surprise me to hear how he acted. I just hope the police can catch the thug who did this before he goes on to try something worse.”
The only description of the man is he was wearing all black and is aged between 19 and 24.
Detective Constable Mandy Cummings, of Police Scotland, said: “We’re looking to speak to anyone who might’ve seen a man dressed in black acting suspiciously outside the store around this time. Equally, if anyone remembers seeing the suspect running from the store or in the area, please contact us.”
Anyone with any information should contact Police Scotland on 101 or can phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.