“Open the f****** safe”: Masked robbers armed with ‘Zombie’ knife broke into B&M in horrifying ordeal



Two armed robbers broke into a B&M before chasing the staff and holding them hostage until they opened the safe in a horrifying order.

Joseph Nunn, 25, Daniel Cooke, 28, and another man, were captured on CCTV using an angle grinder as staff began to open up the store in Stockport.

Once the main door was completely removed, the men ran over counters and down the aisles towards the storage room, where they grabbed a member of staff by the collar and forced him towards the staff room, Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

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A supervisor, who had earlier heard the noise and called the police, was told to ‘open the f***** safe’ by one of the men, but said it was on a 20 minute timer.

As they waited for it to open, Nunn, Cooke and the other man repeatedly came back into the room to check if it could be opened any quicker. Nunn was holding a ‘zombie’ knife, a metal cutter and meat cleaver.

Fortunately, police arrived within ten minutes and arrested them both at the scene. The third man fled and is currently wanted by police.

Both Nunn and Cooke have now been jailed for four years and eight months after pleading guilty to offenses of attempted robbery, possession of an offensive weapon and theft.

‘She thought she was going to be killed’

Duncan Wilcock, prosecuting, said that on January 14 this year, staff were opening up the B&M store on Great Portwood Street at around 7.30am when the supervisor heard a loud noise.

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After looking on the CCTV she saw someone trying to enter the store with a metal cutter and immediately phoned the police.

“One minute later, the two defendants and another man entered the shop and ran from the front entrance through to the storage room,” Mr Wilcock said.

“They came across a member of staff, grabbed him by his collar and brought him into the staff room. The supervisor recalled people shouting in an aggressive manner and saw a male holding a knife.

“They were wearing balaclavas and all black clothing and she thought at that stage she was going to be killed. The told her to ‘open the f***** safe’ and told the other member of staff to get on the ground.”

The supervisor told the men that there was a 20 minute delay for it to open. About ten minutes later three police cars arrived with five police officers and arrested the two men.

In CCTV footage of the terrifying incident which was played to the court, sparks could be seen on the front entrance as the men cut their way through, before the door came completely off.

They can be seen running over the tills and down the aisles before grabbing the member of staff and forcing him to lie flat on the ground face down for a few seconds.

He’s then brought by the collar and flanked by two of the men into the store room before the supervisor is seen to sit down next to the safe whilst they wait for it to open.

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In a statement, the supervisor said the incident had left her feeling vulnerable and worrying about people targeting the shop again. She said she had struggled to sleep as she ca n’t get the incident out of her mind, and she struggles to forget the image of the man waving a ‘Rambo’ knife around her.

“I genuinely feared for my life,” she said.

“I don’t think the seriousness of this incident actually hit me until a couple of days later,” the male staff member said.

“I struggled to sleep and couldn’t understand why I was suffering with flashbacks. I genuinely thought I was going to die. I feel those responsible need to reflect upon the impact that their actions have on other people.”

‘A horrifying and terrifying order’

Both Nunn and Cooke were said to have ‘appalling’ criminal records, and had previous convictions for robbery, burglary and drug offences.

Mitigating for Nunn, Saul Brody said Nunn’s partner had apologized for his actions and is distressed at him being sent to prison.

For Cooke, Michael Johnson said: “He accepts what he said when he was apprehended, that he was bang to rights.

“As he said to the probation report writer, his selfish and inconsiderate actions will have an impact on those people doing nothing other than a day’s work.”

Sentencing, Judge Paul Lawton said: “What you subjected those staff in that B&M store was a horrifying and terrifying order, that was probably the longest ten minutes of their lives.

“It was extremely unsophisticated in its execution and it was your own planning which led to your undoing.”

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Nunn, of Sandpiper Close, was jailed for four years and eight months for attempted robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.

Cooke, of Egerton Grove, Walkden was also jailed for four years and eight months for attempted robbery and theft of a mobile phone.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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