A NEIGHBOURLY couple have offered more than £1,500 to the owner of a convenience store after it was raided by armed robbers.

Dave and Kate Kendall from Sabden Fold have generously offered the owner of Thoroughgoods in Wheatley Lane Road, Fence, cash to help the business tick over after three balaclava-clad thieves held up the store on Friday.

Karen Hartley, 44, has owned the store for two years and said the offer was ‘really touching’ and ‘very thoughtful’.

She said: “The whole community has been amazing. We have had people just dropping in to see if the staff were ok.

“A number of neighbours have also been in giving us cards.

“It is true that a crime like this does not just affect those involved, it impacts on the community.

“One of my neighbours have even generously offered to cover the cost of the theft.

“A village business like this can not afford to take such a hit, each months takings covers the running costs for the following month.

“This offer was very thoughtful and it has really touching.”

Shop assistant Rob Parker was cashing up shortly after 8.30pm when three masked men entered the shop armed with a claw hammer and a screwdriver.

The 19-year-old, of Cuckstool Lane, Fence, said he thought it was one of his friends ‘playing a practical joke’ until he realised there was a screwdriver pointed at his head.

Rob, a health and personal training student at UCLan said: “I was sat behind the till after what had been a fairly normal shift.

“As I was cashing up I heard the door open but I didn’t look up.

“Then one of them told me to hand over the cash, at first I thought it was one of mates playing a joke until I saw the screwdriver and the claw hammer.”

The thieves were wearing dark clothing and balaclavas.

They got away with £1,000 worth of cash and £500 worth of cigarettes.

Mrs Hartley said: “Rob was really brave and did exactly the right thing keeping calm and doing what they said.

“Up until this I never felt like the shop was at risk but I do now. I have immediately added an extra member of staff during the evenings and I will be looking a further security measures in the future.”

Anyone who has information about the robbery should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.