AN ELDERLY shopkeeper who saw off a trio of would-be robbers who targeted his corner shop said: “I wasn’t scared.”

Three balaclava-clad men entered Ishaq Grocers and Off-Licence in Bromley Street, Blackburn, and attempted to steal the till and cigarettes. But they made off with nothing after being confronted by the owner, Mohammed Ishaq, and his son, Zegham.

The incident happened at 12.45pm on Sunday when 73-year-old Mr Ishaq was cleaning the shop floor, while his son was out the back.

He said: “I was mopping up when they came in.

“They tried to take the till, and one jumped over the counter and tried to take cigarettes. He got a couple of packets but dropped them on the floor.

“I called my son and he shouted ‘hey, what are you doing here?’ and they left. They didn’t get anything.

“We’ve got cameras and we’re guarded 24 hours a day. I wasn’t scared. I’ve been here 33 years, and I’ve never had anything like this before.”

Another shop was targeted earlier the same day, in an incident police said may be linked. A man wearing a balaclava entered the nearby One Stop Shop in New Bank Road, at around 9.50am, and left with three cases of Carlsberg lager.

Manager Zam Khan, 31, said: “He bent down and just walked out with it.”

Shopkeepers in East Lancashire have been fighting back against robbers but police have warned that standing up to criminals could prove dangerous.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the Ishaq Grocers incident and anyone with information can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

l Two men have been arrested and were being questioned yesterday in connection with the incident at Ishaq Grocers.