A Derry shop owner has branded armed thieves who held up his store “scumbags”.
Marlborough Stores was targeted by a gang of three men - one of them armed with a gun - as a shop assistant locked up on Sunday night.
The shop assistant was left badly shaken after he was forced to hand over cash at gunpoint.
The store’s owner, who did not want to be named, said he was disgusted by the robbery - the second at the premises in less than two years. “These scum should go and earn a day’s wages. A man works all hours of the day to provide for his family just for some scum to come and take his earnings”.
Giving details of the incident which happened just after 9pm on Sunday, the shop owner added: “One of the fellas was locking up, just following the normal routine. He had the payzone money and the takings for the day with him and had just set the alarm when he turned to see a man standing with a gun pointing it in the door. The man who was wearing a balaclava said ‘we want some money’. The fella working there tried to close the door but the gunman and another man kicked in the door.
“The fella handed over the money as that’s what he was told to do in those circumstances, but he was very badly shaken up by the whole thing.”
He said that a third man was seen waiting across the street in silver Rover car which was used as the getaway vehicle.
Condemning the robbery, Sinn Féin Councillor Colin Kelly commented:“The criminals who carried out this robbery and others in the city over recent months have nothing whatsoever to offer our society and it is important that they are apprehended and brought to justice.
“I would appeal to anyone who can provide any information which could help, to make it available to the PSNI.”
He said it was an attack on the community, adding the local store provides an important service to those who live locally.
SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has condemned the robbery as “a despicable attack”.
“It is difficult enough to trade in today’s economic conditions without being put through such a terrifying and unprovoked attack.
“There must be no doubt that the community totally rejects the perpetrators of this callous crime.
“It is essential that anyone with information about this incident contact the police immediately so that the perpetrators are caught and brought to justice.”