‘People have been coming in and crying’ - Sub-postmaster describes being threatened with gun in terrifying post office robbery

Surlingham Post Office. PIC: Peter Walsh.

Surlingham Post Office. PIC: Peter Walsh. - Credit: Archant

A sub-postmaster is back at work despite being threatened with a gun by raiders in a terrifying armed robbery.

Sylvia Russell, who stands less than five foot tall, was standing behind the counter of Surlingham Post Office, which had just emptied after the post-school rush on Thursday when the door burst open and two men, who appeared to have their faces covered, rushed in and demanded she open the till.

One of the men pointed a gun at her in a bid to scare her into opening the cash register.

Mrs Russell said: 'The children had gone from school, because they had come out at 3.30pm, and all of a sudden the door burst open.

'This man came in with what looked like a briefcase and put it on the counter and said 'open the till, open the till'. I just looked at the case and he was still saying 'open the till'.

'Then I looked at his hand, which was on the case, he had a gun in his hand. I said 'What the hell are you going to do with that?' so then he brought it up higher and pointed it at me. I thought 'this is for real' and opened the till.'

The till had recently been emptied but the man took a £10 note and two £5 notes that were left in there while the other man who had come in to the store had taken the cash kept in the office.

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Police are investigating the robbery, which happened at the post office on Walnut Hill at about 4pm on Thursday.

It is the first time Mrs Russell, who has worked at the post office for the past 15 years, has been targeted by robbers and it has left her feeling very shaken, but determined to carry on and not 'feel sorry for myself'.

She said: 'I was determined to keep open. I just feel I need to keep busy. I haven't been upset yet but I don't want to be.'

Mrs Russell has also thanked concerned customers who have been coming in to comfort her after the ordeal.

She said: 'People have been coming in and crying and giving me flowers and chocolates so that's been nice.

'When they cry it's a job to hold it back but I've got to. I've got to keep strong.'

Anyone who witnessed the robbery or anyone with information should contact Sgt Matt Jenkins on 101.

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