Aug 9 2012 by Gary Fanning, Hamilton Advertiser
A HAMILTON shopkeeper was robbed at gunpoint in a terrifying early-morning car jacking raid.
The 31-year-old victim lost a substantial five-figure sum of cash after two Asian thugs pointed a gun at his head and demanded his money.
The dad was stalked by the armed robbers after leaving his busy Costcutters convenience store in Clarkwell Road, Hillhouse, on Monday about 8.10am.
He was on his way to a nearby cash and carry when the two raiders being hunted by detectives struck.
His frightening ordeal began when he set off in a white Volkswagen van and the armed thugs followed him before pouncing in Blantyres Farm Road.
The van was travelling along the villages Bardykes Road before turning into Glasgow Road.
As the vehicle approached a roundabout on Glasgow Road at Blantyre Farm Road, a white Ford Transit rammed the back of the victims van.
The victim pulled over and opened his door to speak to the driver.
Two men then leapt out of the van and approached the victim.
One of them pulled out a handgun and demanded he unlock the van.
The second suspect pinched a five-figure sum from the van.
The suspects grabbed the loot and got back into the van and sped off.
They did a u-turn and turned left heading in the direction of Uddingston on Blantyre Farm Road.
Police said no firearm was discharged during the frightening incident.
The victim was uninjured but badly shaken.
The gunman is described as being of Pakistani or Indian origin, late 20s, slim with shaved dark hair.
He was wearing a sky blue Adidas hooded top with three stripes on the sleeves.
The second suspect was also of Pakistani or Indian origin, about 35 years of age and wearing a red or orange baseball cap.
The shopkeeper didnt make any comment on the incident when contacted by the Advertiser.
One customer, however, close to him said he was in tears shortly after the gun raid.
He was terrified when they pulled out a gun on him.
He hasnt been seen at work on Monday or Tuesday following the incident.
The man didnt tell his wife or family about what happened.
He has been running the shop with his brother for about two years.
Both of the brothers have wives and children to think about.
Most shoppers and staff at nearby shops in Clarkwell Road were this week unaware of the gun raid.
The customer added: The shopkeeper is now scared he could be targeted every time he goes to the cash and carry.
He fears that someone in the local community could come into the shop with a knife and rob them.
They just wanted to keep it quiet.
They think the money has now gone as it has been someone in the Asian community who has done this.
They wont splash the cash or be flashy and it means that the police will find it difficult to find who did this.
I think they fear they will be targeted again..
I think they have learned a harsh lesson and there wont be substantial money in the shop any more.
I think there was a lot of money at the shop because the banks were closed over the weekend.
They will step up security at the shop following this.
Detective Sergeant Julie Mullen of Hamilton CID has appealed for witnesses to come forward in a bid to identify the culprits.
I would like to reassure the public that we believe this was a targeted robbery, she said.
I would urge anyone who was in the area of Glasgow Road at the junction with Blantyre Farm Road in Blantyre around the time of the robbery and who may have witnessed what happened, or believed they were witnessing a road collision, to contact us and help with our enquiries.
At this time of day, this road is usually busy with traffic and pedestrians and Im sure someone will have noticed two white vans parked at the side of the road.
Anyone with information should contact DS Mullen at Hamilton CID on 483300 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111, where calls are free and anonymity can be maintained.