Masked raiders of Nottingham's PoundWorld store terrorised employees
TWO women who were attacked and bound by masked robbers have spoken of their ordeal.
Sandra Whitehouse and Natalie La Fonde were closing the PoundWorld store at Sneinton's Lady Bay Retail Park when two men burst through the back door.
Natalie was sitting in the canteen when they came at her from behind. They forced her to her knees and tied her hands with cable ties before pushing her to the office, where Sandra was cashing up.
When Sandra refused their first demand for keys to the safe, they hit her on the head and tied her wrists, then ripped the keys from her pocket.
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Both women were forced to lie on the warehouse floor while the men emptied the safe.
"All I could think about was getting out of the shop in one piece," said Natalie, 31, of St Ann's. "It was like a dream. I felt physically sick."
She was visibly shaking as she recalled the attack on Tuesday, January 24, and was too afraid to be pictured for this story. Since the robbery, she has transferred to another PoundWorld store.
"The thought of working in there – I just go to pieces," she said. "I look at people differently now and don't like anyone behind me.
"All I can think about is lying on that cold, hard floor."
The robbery, which took place at 7.20pm, lasted about 10 minutes.
For Sandra, 49, it felt much longer. The mum-of-two, of St Ann's, said: "We were just frightened. We didn't know if they were wielding weapons or anything. We both felt violated because they used that much force. I don't think they needed to use the force they did against two women."
As well as bruises and cuts to her wrist, Sandra was left with a bump on her head after being hit.
She has stayed at the store, in Meadow Lane, Sneinton, but refuses to handle cash or be left there alone.
"I found it difficult at first," she said. "I was very jumpy and people kept asking me about it which made me feel bad but I'm just about settling back in now."
When the robbers had fled, Natalie managed to locate the knife she uses for cutting cardboard and the women freed each other.
It is thought the robbers fled on foot towards Lady Bay Bridge, with what police described as a large amount of cash.
The raiders are in their early 20s. Both wore masks, gloves and dark blue jackets and spoke with local accents. One is about 6ft tall and the other about 5ft 8ins.
Detective Sergeant Kaz Smithson said: "The robbery took place just before the Notts County football game, so there were lots of people in the area.
"While the crowds may have aided their escape at the time, we are hoping someone may have seen something or bumped into these men as they fled."
Witnesses or anyone with information about the robbery should contact DS515 Smithson at Radford Road CID on 101 ext 8024591 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.