Ngan Nguyen attacked would-be robbers at her Brisbane Rd store with a hockey stick.
Ngan Nguyen attacked would-be robbers at her Brisbane Rd store with a hockey stick. Rob Williams

Storekeeper takes on robbers

A SHOPKEEPER who bravely confronted a knife-wielding man with a hockey stick ended up having the weapon ripped from her hands and used against her.

Ngan Nguyen, who has owned her tiny convenience and take-away store on Brisbane Rd, East Ipswich, for 27 years, is only a tad over 150cm tall but showed she had a big heart when two masked men entered her shop about 12.45pm on Tuesday.

The 54-year-old picked up an old hockey stick after one of the men demanded money from the till - threatening her with a 20cm army knife. "I was facing the other way when they came in," the married mother-of three said.

"Then one of them started yelling at me to hand over the money.

"I kept telling him to go away - that I didn't have any money to give them."

Mrs Nguyen said the man became more aggressive with

her, at one stage attempting to come around to her side of the counter.

She picked up a wooden hockey stick - which she had slotted in against the wall next to her chip fryer, and began waving it at the offender.

"I have never played hockey before so I can't hit very hard," she said.

"In the back of my mind I was telling myself that I didn't really want to hurt him."

She struck the man twice on the shoulder before he grabbed the stick by its hook and ripped it from her clutches.

The offender then struck out at the counter, smashing several items before fleeing empty-handed with the other man, who remained at the entrance to the store during the attempted robbery.

While not seriously injured, Mrs Nguyen sustained a painful bruise to her left hand.

"I don't know why they would want to rob my shop - it is very quiet here," she said.

"Our customers are all locals."

The offenders had shirts wrapped around their heads and were believed to be aged 17 and 19 years. Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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