A robber messed with the wrong store owner when he attempted to steal some e-cigarettes. Instead of cracking under the pressure, the ex-police officer turned store owner stood his ground and chased the perp off with a bottle of vodka. That’s using your surroundings to your advantage.
Dilan Mendis spent 12 years serving with the Metropolitan Police, the police force for the Greater London area in the U.K. He opened up his store once he decided to step away from the force.
The incident between Mendis and two masked men occurred on August 26, 2022, shortly after 5 p.m. and was caught on CCTV video. One of the suspects approached the cash register in a mask and demanded Mendis fill his bag with disposable e-cigarettes.
Mendis tried to plead with the criminals, saying “come on brother, I work hard for my money” before reaching for his phone to call the police. At that point, the thief comes around the counter to take the e-cigarettes himself. Rather than back down, Mendis grabbed the first thing he saw — a bottle of vodka — which he swung at the suspects all the way out of the store.
“I was not too scared as I have dealt with these kinds of incidents whilst working for the Met Police. I saw on CCTV that there were two men speaking outside the shop for a couple of minutes, then both came in.
“I asked him to remove the mask and he said he couldn’t do that, then he asked for all of the disposable vapes, so I tried to look around everywhere to buy time. I tried to call the police and he asked me to put the phone down and I carried on, so he came around the back to behind the counter to stop me, so I asked him to wait but he still came. I pushed my chair towards him so he couldn’t come near, then I grabbed a bottle of vodka and chased him out of the shop,” Mendis added.
Mendis shared footage of the robbery online and reported the incident to the West Mercia Police.