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Indo-British Shopkeeper’s Bravery Wins UK Police Award

Sibu Kuruvilla and his colleague Najeeb Nazeer were preparing to close their convenience store in December 2017 when a teenager entered the shop brandishing what they believed to be a firearm demanding money from the till.

 

LONDON – Sibu Kuruvilla, a shopkeeper who bravely grappled with an intruder and managed to hand him over to the police, has been commended with an award at the Chief Constable’s Award Ceremony in the east Midlands city of Leicester that has a large minority of Indian origin.

 

Kuruvilla and his colleague Najeeb Nazeer were preparing to close their convenience store in December 2017 when 18-year-old Ayoub Tarey entered the shop brandishing what they believed to be a firearm and demanded money from the till.

 

The two managed to remain calm and activate the shop’s panic alarm after Nazeer was forced behind the counter to hand money over. Although Kuruvilla is smaller in stature than Tarey, he used his martial arts skills to disarm him when he began to suspect the gun was fake.

 

Kuruvilla managed to knock the ‘gun’ out of the attacker’s hands on the floor, where it shattered. The two then worked together when, after a struggle, they managed to apprehend Tarey, the Leicestershire police said.

 

 

Kurivilla’s two young daughters were in the office at the back of the shop and witnessed what was going on via CCTV. One of the girls was brave enough to pass the phone to her father to ring the police when they had detained Tarey.

 

The police said Tarey was arrested and sentenced to four years in prison at Leicester Crown Court in June 2018. Ten other offences which Tarey admitted related to four robberies and an attempted robbery at various stores and five counts of possession of an imitation firearm.

 

Detective constable Nick Lant said: “Tarey is a prolific criminal, who at such a young age, committed a series of serious crimes. He was detained at the scene of the last of those crimes and I would like to commend the bravery of the victims who detained him”.

 

 

“Tarey was left with little option other than to plead guilty, but I would like to credit him for fully admitting the other offences and thereby bringing closure to those further victims and witnesses.

 

Kurivilla said after receiving the award: “I did what I did to protect my family and my livelihood. We opened the shop as usual the morning after the attack, it was Christmas Day – I run a community store and people needed us to be open”.

 

“The police did an excellent job collecting evidence from the shop, we were relieved with the prison sentence Tarey was given and I hope that by being in prison he has had time to reflect on what he did and his learned the error of his ways”.

 

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