Tufnell Park shopkeeper robbed at gunpoint slams police

AN EX-SOLDIER robbed at gunpoint by thugs blamed for two corner shop raids in 10 minutes has attacked police for being too slow to the crime scene.

Ercan Bahceci, 40, who runs My Shop, on the corner of Fortess Road and Burghley Road, in Tufnell Park, said police took more than 20 minutes to arrive after his shop was robbed by two men armed with a gun and a large knife.

The men made off with �300 before heading to Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, where they are believed to have been responsible for an even more terrifying attack immediately afterwards.

Now Mr Bahceci has spoken of his fears that the men will strike at his shop again – and he says the slow police response has made him even more frightened for his safety.

Mr Bahceci, a former soldier in the Turkish army, said: “I called 999 and the police said they would be here in four or five minutes but it was more than 20 minutes before they finally arrived.

“That made me think, if something like this happens again, how do we protect ourselves? I don’t feel safe here because the police came really late. I worry that the men are going to come back, but I hope next time the police will come quicker.”

The store manager said the incident, which took place on December 21 at 9.37pm, was the first robbery in his two years running My Shop.

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He told how the gunman pointed the weapon in his face, threatened him and demanded cash from the till. “They told me to put the money in the bag and I refused,” said Mr Bahceci. “I said I couldn’t rob my own shop. The guy said he was going to shoot me, so I opened my shirt to show him my chest, and said ‘shoot me’. He understood I wasn’t going to do it, and they did it themselves.”

The men ran off down Burghley Road – and are thought to have then struck again in a robbery that turned violent at Gonca supermarket, in Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, minutes later at 9.45pm.

This second raid saw shopkeeper Dogan Sahin, 46, stabbed in the shoulder, while his son Yilmaz, 25, was pistol-whipped, as the pair bravely attempted to fight off the thieves. The suspects eventually fled empty handed, while the victims were taken to Homerton Hospital to be treated for their injuries.

Both suspects are described as black men, aged 20-25, who were wearing dark clothing. The knife carrier had two white stripes down his tracksuit bottoms, and they may have used a dark-coloured Vauxhall Astra.

Anyone with information should call police on 020 8358 1751 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.