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A man who attempted to stage an armed robbery at a convenience store after observing that it was manned by an elderly shop assistant, quickly learned the extent of his folly.
Using a judo move, the elderly woman, 78-year-old Madam Liu Yuedu, managed to disarm the suspect who was brandishing a penknife, causing him to flee.
The incident happened at Everyday Mart, a convenience store at Tyrwhitt Road, on Wednesday (March 28) at 1.46pm.
The suspect, 28-year-old Patmakantan a/l Arevalagam, was arrested along Lavender Street less than five hours later after his robbery attempt, and charged in court with the offence of attempted armed robbery on Thursday morning (March 29).
Madam Liu told Lianhe Wanbao that at the time of the incident, her husband and employees were out on errands, leaving her alone to look after the shop.
The suspect then entered the shop, holding a penknife in his right hand.
He shouted in Madam Liu in English: "Give me all your money!"
Madam Liu said: "I was shocked. I thought I heard him wrong and asked him what he wanted.
"He suddenly reached his left hand into the cash registry and tried to take money from it.
"I knew then he really meant what he said."
Madam Liu said that there was over $200 in the registry at the point, and was afraid that the man would take it all.
She gathered her courage and pushed the suspect’s hand away.
She followed up with a knifehand strike to the suspect’s right hand, a move she picked up from learning judo when she was younger.
Madam Liu disarmed him, and the suspect fled.
She added: "He started looking afraid the moment he lost the knife. I started shouting for help, and he immediately ran.
"I didn’t call the police immediately, as I thought there were no losses anyway. However, my daughter later informed me how dangerous the situation was and we decided to call the police."
The police said in an official statement that officers from the Central Police Division identified Patmakantan after conducting extensive ground enquiries.
The penknife he used was also seized as a case exhibit.
If convicted, he can be jailed for between two and seven years and receive at least 12 strokes of the cane.