A shop assistant has recalled her terror when a man threatened her with a hammer during a daylight robbery in Co Armagh yesterday afternoon.
The young woman, who did not want to be named, revealed how the man, masked with a scarf, robbed the popular shop on the Lough Road, Lurgan.
She said she noticed a man standing between one of the aisles in the shop.
“He had a black scarf tied round his face and was wearing a white baseball cap with a grey hoodie over it,” she said.
“He seemed to be holding something under his hoodie,” she added.
She believes the man to be around 5’8” and appeared to be stocky but she wasn’t sure as he could have been wearing layers of clothes.
“He put the hammer on the counter and told me to give him money from the till. He said he wanted the tens and twenties,” said the shop worker.
He then came round to her side of the counter and opened the till and took the cash.
“I was terrified,” she said.
The owner, who arrived back at the shop moments later, said they rang the police immediately but the robber disappeared along Victoria Street.
Former owned by Dessie Heaney who has since retire, the shop has been a very popular outlet for locals and commuters travelling from the nearby train station.
“We have only opened the shop about eight weeks.
“It is soul-destroying that someone could threaten staff. It’s just horrible,” she said.
“We are just devastated but we just can’t get over the number of people who have been coming into the shop and offering their support and even apologising even though they have done nothing wrong.
“It’s like a big family round here. The people are fantastic and the support we have received is phenomenal.
“We have deliberately kept our prices as low as possible and are always looking for bargains for our customers. Local people have been fantastic since the robbery,” she said.
This morning detectives appealed for information after the armed robbery.
Their statement said: “It was reported that shortly before 3.30pm a man armed with a hammer entered a shop in the area and threatened a member of staff before making off with a sum of money. The male is described as being approximately 6’ tall, of stocky build, wearing a grey hooded top and dark coloured bottoms. The man made off on foot in the direction of Victoria Street.
“Detectives are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who may have information about the incident to contact Detectives at Lurgan on 101 quoting reference 777 03/10/18. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.