Shopkeeper fights of brazen thief during Post Office attempted robbery

Police are investigating the incident at the Uphall store and enquiries are ongoing.

A shopkeeper fought off a thief on Saturday during an attempted robbery at a Post Office in West Lothian.

Postmaster Nadeem Rabbani had been working at the shop in Uphall on Saturday, December 16, when a brazen robber entered shortly before 10am and demanded money while “throwing petrol” at him.

Mr Rabbani told STV News: “On Saturday morning a customer walked through the door and I was outside the door myself as I had been on the phone to my wife, I walked in behind him and I asked ‘can I help you?’

“He just turned around and opened his bag and said he had a bottle of petrol in it which he started spraying at me.”

At first, Mr Rabbani said he thought someone had been playing a practical joke on him but when he smelled the substance he said he realised the situation was “dangerous”.

Postmaster Nadeem Rabbani has been left shaken by the incident on Saturday.

“I asked him, ‘excuse me, what are you doing?’ He handed me a bag and said fill up the bag and I realised that it was an attempted robbery.”

Clips posted by Mr Rabbani’s friend on social media show the brave shopkeeper grabbing the thief and pushing him outside, before he fled on foot.

“I was shaking after that, it was really hard to come to terms with and have courage at the time, but I thought if it’s not me it could be someone else – my wife or my son – in the shop at the time,” He told STV News, “My first reaction was to throw him out of the shop so he couldn’t pull a lighter from his pocket.

“You don’t expect these things to happen, it’s really shocking.”

CCTV footage captured at the shop was shared by Mr Rabbani’s friend on social media, prompting outrage in the community at the attack.

Police are now investigating the incident and enquiries are ongoing.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We received a report of an attempted robbery at a premises on West Main Street, Uphall, around 12.50pm on Saturday, December 16.

“Enquiries into the incident are ongoing.”

A Post Office spokesperson said: “We’re shocked to see video footage of the attack on our postmaster who operates Uphall Post Office.

“We have spoken with Nadeem to offer our support and will also be visiting his branch on Tuesday.

“We will also support the police’s investigation into this horrific crime and encourage anyone with information to share it with Police Scotland or Crimestoppers.”

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