'Chillest chip shop owner' just tried to be cool

By Brittany Keogh

The Christchurch kebab shop owner dubbed the 'chillest chip shop operator' on social media for ignoring an armed robber says he told himself: "try to be cool as much as you can".

"I don't know how I did it," admits Said Ahmed.

The incident, which took place on 28 May at around 11pm, was the first of its kind in the 15 years that Mr Ahmed has owned Egyptian Kebab House.

"Sometimes teenagers try to scare me, throwing eggs," but nothing major had happened previously, he says.

Police released CCTV footage of the would-be holdup on Facebook this week, asking members of the public to help identify the robber. The video has now been viewed 77,000 times.

Police are still searching for the man who attempted to hold up Said Ahmed's shop.
Police are still searching for the man who attempted to hold up Said Ahmed's shop.

Initially, Mr Ahmed thought the man was a customer, he says. When he realised the robber was armed, he finished serving a customer and then walked to the back room to call the police.

The robber then left the store.

Mr Ahmed says he believes the man expected to intimidate him and his quick thinking caused confusion.

"I ignored him completely, like 'I'm not seeing you'. He had not prepared himself for this action."

While he appears calm in the footage, Mr Ahmed says he did feel scared. "When he had gone my heart was beating hard."

He "thanks God" for guiding him during the robbery.

Although Mr Ahmed has not thought about the event in a great detail since: "I just do my business as usual", he now closes the store at 10pm, when other nearby shops shut.

Family is the motivation behind this change. Mr Ahmed is married and has two children; his son is in Year 12 and his daughter is studying psychology at Canterbury University.

"There is no one to look after my family here," says the 55-year-old, who immigrated to New Zealand from Egypt 20 years ago.

"I tell my kids, 'be a little brave'. Life can change in a few seconds."

Police want to hear from anyone who knows the offender, or has information that might help identify him.

Phone Christchurch Police Station on 03 363 7400 or information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

- NZ Herald

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