The 6ft tall thug opened a chiller, took a can of lager and paid for it. "He then went back to the cabinet, took out another can and left the door open as he made out he was about to pay for it," according to the Manchester Evening News. "As the shopkeeper opened the till, the offender then sprayed him in the face with CS gas.
"The brave retailer then punched the robber in self defence, knocking him backwards. Stunned, the raider then turned round and ran straight into the fridge door, falling to the ground.
"He then got to his feet and ran out of the shop. The shopkeeper was uninjured but left shaken by the incident."
Det Con Jonathan Carter, of Rochdale CID, said: "While we would not condone people taking the law into their own hands, the offender was clearly unprepared for the shopkeeper's response."