Elderly woman beats thief with loaf of bread

LATEST: A feisty 78-year-old-old woman saw off a would-be robber at her corner store by hitting him over the head with a loaf of stale bread.

Eleni Nicolaides - Lela to her friends - was closing her store on Mary St Blackstone when a man ran in carrying a knife and a jack lever.

"The boy from two doors down comes in to help me close up," she said.

"At 6.10 he was sitting down near the back door and I had six loaves of bread I was taking outside."

Every day she puts leftover bread out for the vendor to collect and leave fresh bread.

"Just then, a man ran into the store and jumped up on the box in front of the counter," she said. "He said to the boy: 'I'm going to steal all your money'.

"I threw down the loaves but for some reason one of them stayed in my hands.

SUSPECT: Petrol drive off.
SUSPECT: Petrol drive off.

"I went and stood in front of him. He reached over and tried to open the till so I whacked him over the head with the loaf of bread.

"He got a real shock and pulled back. I tried to pull the balaclava down and said: I want to see your face.

"I felt like I was in a movie. He turned around and either pulled down the chip stand or tripped over it as he ran out the door."

He got into a white Holden Commodore parked just around the corner in Jones St and drove away.

Asked if she had second thoughts, Mrs Nicolaides said: "No, I wasn't going to give him any money.

"I'm 78 and I work here 14 hours a day and I've been here for 30 years. If he wants money he can go get a job."

Her store has an alarm and three security cameras.

Ipswich CIB Detective Senior Sergeant Gary Dixon said the man's face was covered with cloth but Mrs Nicolaides saw his blue eyes and fair skin.

She said the thin, 180cm tall man was wearing a black hooded jumper, dark pants and no gloves.

"Then at 7.50pm a male fitting the same description, wearing the same clothes in a white Commodore with the same registration plates did a petrol drive-off at the Raceview BP," he said.

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at crimestoppers.com.au.


UPDATE: Police are investigating the attempted armed robbery of a convenience store at Blackstone yesterday.

Around 6pm a man allegedly armed with a knife and a metal bar entered the Mary Street business making demands for cash.

The man attempted to gain access to the till when the attendant struck the man with a loaf of bread causing him to flee the store empty handed.

No one was physically injured during the incident.

The man is described as Caucasian in appearance, approximately 180cm tall with a thin build. He was wearing a black hooded jumper and his face was covered with cloth.

Police investigations are continuing.

3AM: Police were last night searching for a male youth and his two accomplices after an armed hold-up at a takeaway store in Blackstone.

The youth walked into the Mary St shop and threatened workers while demanding money.

The youth, wearing a balaclava, then produced a pocket knife and jumped the counter in an unsuccessful attempt to open the till.

He then fled the scene and was last seen getting into a white Commodore that contained two other people. The vehicle then sped up Mary St.

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