Romford shopkeeper fought off knifeman with a jar of Uncle Ben’s sauce!

�A have-a-go hero shopkeeper from Romford fought off a knife-wielding attacker – using a bottle of Uncle Ben’s sauce.

Thangarajah Pirabajaran bravely confronted two men who tired to rob Select and Save Food and Wine in Oldchurch Road on Valentine’s Day.

The masked thugs – one armed with a four-inch blade and the other with a metal pole – threatened to stab the shopkeeper and his wife unless he handed over takings.


But the trader, who works 14 hours a day, seven days a week, was not prepared to let the crooks make off with his cash.

“I was out the back when my wife screamed,” said the 34-year-old. “When I came out I saw one man with a knife and another with a large steel rod.

“He showed the knife and said ‘I will stab you if you don’t give me your money’.

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“I had the Uncle Ben’s bottle in my hand and I shouted ‘I will throw it at your head’. He backed out the door and, when he was out, I threw the bottle at him and shut the door.”

The second attacker, rod in hand, tried to grab the cash till, but not before aiming a blow at Thangarajah’s head.

He missed, smashing two beer bottles, and then fled after his accomplice.

“My wife had pressed the panic button and, when we told him the police were coming, he got out,” Thangarajah said.

The couple were left shaken but unhurt by the incident and returned to work the next day – but are a little more wary now.

Thangarajah said: “Whenever a young lad comes in now we get a bit tense, but this is our business and we will protect it again.

“It was scary, but luckily I have strength – and God was on my side!”

A spokesman for Havering Police said: “The owner bravely fought the attackers off.

“They were seen to make off along Oldchurch Road before turning into Queen’s Hospital’s grounds.”

n Anyone with information about the raiders is asked to call Det Con Barry Carter, CID at Romford Police Station, on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.