A shop worker who had a handgun pointed at her face during a hold-up has recounted the terrifying moment that she realised a man she thought was a customer was instead a robber.
Crystal Truong was closing the front door of the Clarkson mini-mart about 8.30pm on Saturday when a man rushed towards her.
“I was thinking that’s a customer coming late, but then he held the gun at me,” she said.
The man, who had his face covered, grabbed Ms Truong by the arm and hauled her into the Ainsbury Parade shop.
Her screams alerted her uncle Giao Nguyen, who was behind the counter, and he grabbed a baseball bat and demanded to know what the intruder wanted.
When the bandit swung the gun towards Mr Nguyen, loosening his grip on Ms Truong, she took the chance to get free and ran to a nearby bottle shop.
As the gun was pointed at him, Mr Nguyen screamed for help and when he saw his niece break free, he also fled.
“Lucky in the moment of confusion he probably accidentally released my niece and she managed to break free and he couldn’t reach me … so I managed to escape and she managed to escape,” he said. “I ran for my life and I even forgot to press the panic button for the alarm.”
Mr Nguyen said as he ran to other businesses to find help, the gunman followed him.
“He pointed the gun at me and told me to stop,” he said. “I said, ‘I’m not going to stop’.”
By the time Mr Nguyen reached a nearby bottle shop, Ms Truong was already there and staff called police.
The mini-mart owner and his niece were back at work yesterday despite the terrifying ordeal.
It is the third time he has been the victim of a hold-up in the five years he has owned the store, but the first time the robber has been armed with a gun.
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.