"He grabbed me and told me to be quiet, and I started screaming help, and I kept screaming it."
Sue Wilkinson is bruised and battered and still incredibly shaken 24 hours on from a frightening robbery at the Hillvue Superette in South Tamworth.
The 62-year-old told The Leader she was manning the Hillvue Road shop on her own on Monday night when three hooded men walked in, and turned on her – one coming behind the counter and grabbing her.
He grabbed me and told me to be quiet, and I started screaming help, and I kept screaming it.- Victim Sue Wilkinson
As she screamed for help, the man tried to muffle her mouth and told her to be quiet, as the other offenders tried to access the cash register.
He let the employee of 13 months go and went around the counter trying to open the till.
A quick-thinking Ms Wilkinson grabbed a big stick behind the counter to try and defend herself, before the offender took the weapon from her hand.
“He grabbed the till and they took off,” she said.
The three males – last seen wearing dark-hooded jumpers, and one wearing a light-coloured one – fled into the alleyway near the Scout Hall, across the road from the store.
It was a neighbouring employee that heard the screams and alerted Triple 000 – finding Ms Wilkinson distraught out the front of the shop.
“I think I cried for four hours,” she said.
At the hospital the doctor checked me over, my face was hurting, the doctor checked all the bones around my eyes, I’ve just got aches and pains all over myself, where my shoulders are where he grabbed me.- Victim Sue Wilkinson
“I’m not a young person and for someone to do that, it wasn’t very nice.
“At the hospital the doctor checked me over, my face was hurting, the doctor checked all the bones around my eyes.
“I’ve just got aches and pains all over myself, where my shoulders are where he grabbed me.”
Ms Wilkinson returned to work on Tuesday afternoon and said she was overwhelmed with the support not only from her colleagues and family and friends, but also her customers.
THE employee grabbed by the head in a frightening robbery inside a Tamworth store is recovering as the police manhunt continues for the men involved.
Detectives spent the day interviewing witnesses and speaking to the woman on Tuesday after the hold-up at the Hillvue Superette on Monday night.
Three hooded men stormed the store off Hillvue Road about 5.25pm, with one grabbing the woman around the head.
The trio, who were unarmed, stole the cash register and fled the scene.
They were last seen running west on Hillvue Road and into the Hymen Park area or a nearby laneway.
The woman, who emergency services said was incredibly shaken by the ordeal, was taken to Tamworth hospital for minor injuries.
She was released a short time later.
Oxley detectives are appealing for witnesses or anyone driving in the area shortly before or after the robbery.
Oxley Chief Inspector Phil O’Reilly said police were hoping someone might have dash cam footage.
Anyone with footage, the incident happened about 5.25pm, so anyone who might have been in the area about that time, we would urge them to speak to police.- Chief Inspector Phil O'Reilly
“Anyone with footage, the incident happened about 5.25pm, so anyone who might have been in the area about that time, we would urge them to speak to police,” he said.
Investigators returned to the crime on Tuesday which was examined by forensic police.
“CCTV footage from the area is being reviewed and further witness statements are being obtained,” Chief Inspector O’Reilly said.
“Anyone with information is urged to contact Oxley detectives on 6768 2999.”