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‘I’m going to carry on’: Jewellery store owner defies robbers who held her at knifepoint

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 February 2019

Renee Kathuria is determined to keep going after being led up at knifepoint.  PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Renee Kathuria is determined to keep going after being led up at knifepoint. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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A defiant jewellery store owner is determined to continue business as usual after being held at knifepoint by masked intruders.

Police have released CCTV images of the men who held staff at knifepoint during an attempted armed robbery in Beccles. Photo: Suffolk Police.Police have released CCTV images of the men who held staff at knifepoint during an attempted armed robbery in Beccles. Photo: Suffolk Police.

At around 4.30pm on December 18 last year two men stormed into Oliver and J Jewellery, in Blyburgate, Beccles.

They threatened owner Renee Kathuria and another staff member with a knife before leaving empty handed.

The retired GP, who fulfilled a lifelong ambition when she opened the store in 2017, spoke of the moment the men rushed into the store.

She said: “It was a bit of a shock. It took a little while to comprehend what they were doing.

Police have released CCTV images of the men who held staff at knifepoint during an attempted armed robbery in Beccles. Photo: Suffolk Police.Police have released CCTV images of the men who held staff at knifepoint during an attempted armed robbery in Beccles. Photo: Suffolk Police.

“That has been our thought ever since – how shocked we were.”

Last month police received CCTV stills of men – who remain at large.

Ms Kathuria added: “I was shocked when I saw the photographs. I realised how much I was just concentrating on the knife and where the knife was in relation to me – you watch for the dangers.

“Our shop is very open, there are a lot of people walking past and you see in so easily.

Renee Kathuria is determined to keep going after being led up at knifepoint.  PHOTO: Nick ButcherRenee Kathuria is determined to keep going after being led up at knifepoint. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

“I knew it was a possibility but I didn’t think it would happen.”

While the hold-up did give the owner pause for thought, she is now more determined than ever to carry on as before and not be controlled by the incident.

Ms Kathuria said: “The next day you think – ‘what am I going to do’?

“And I just thought ‘I’m going to carry on actually’ – will two people change everything for you or are you just going to say no?”

A series of minor security changes were implemented across the business and the store looks set to come out of the trauma stronger than ever before.

The jeweller added: “Even now people are coming up and saying how sorry they were it happened to us.

“We feel really supported; the town has been wonderful, as have the police.

“It makes you realise what a wonderful community it is. It’s been really uplifting – what was a negative experience has almost become a positive.”

Anyone with information about the attempted burglary should contact Suffolk Police on 101, quoting crime reference 37/73095/18.

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