A pie shop owner has spoke of her anger after arriving back from Mexico to find her business had fallen to an armed robbery.
Emma Conyers, 36, owns the Pie Shed, on Green Lane, Dewsbury, which was raided by a man in a balaclava with a hammer on Sunday around 4.45pm less than half an hour after a baby shower took place at the shop.
The man broke into the property by the rear entrance, smashing a window and kicking the door open, where the suspect threatened a member of staff with a hammer before stealing tips and cash from the register, totalling around £500.
Ms Conyers said: “On Sunday, we held a baby shower upstairs at the shop which finished just after 4pm, so it’s lucky it happened after everyone left.
“I was coming back from a holiday in Mexico when I found out the shop had been attacked.
“It’s unnerving because of the time of day it happened, and shocking because I’ve been told it was a scary situation where a staff member said ‘please don’t hurt me’.”
After years in the care sector, Ms Conyers, who is a classically-trained chef, opened the Pie Shed in June 2014 after wanting to reconnect with her passion for cooking.
“It makes me angry, I’ve started this business from nothing and reinvested all the money I’ve made back into the business buying the best equipment," she said.
“I’d like to thank the community who have visited the shop and gave us donations after the incident - it’s heartwarming to know people in Dewsbury care about us.
“I employ nine staff and we’re like a family - it’s knocked us down but we’re not out.”
Going forward, Ms Conyers said she will invest in a panic button for her staff if a similar incident happens again.
Dewsbury's Conservative MP, Mark Eastwood said: "This is a terrible incident and my thoughts go out to the victim and her family.
"Having spoken with the owner, Emma, following my return from Westminster, I've organised to meet with her this week to discuss this incident and to offer some advice on security.
"It's my understanding the police are dealing with this as an urgent priority and I hope they manage to track down the culprit, so they can face the full force of the law.
"I shall be contacting the local Inspector, asking for an urgent update on the investigation.
"This is a shocking crime and the police need to make sure there are adequate patrols in the area to reassure the people who live there."
West Yorkshire Police are investigating and have asked anyone with information to contact 101, quoting crime reference 13200046693.
Alternatively, witnesses can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on: 0800555111.