Armed robber terrorises bookies’ staff

Ladbrokes Bookmakers, Racecourse Road, scene of a robbery on Saturday night. DER5113JM009
Ladbrokes Bookmakers, Racecourse Road, scene of a robbery on Saturday night. DER5113JM009

Police are hunting a gunman who threatened staff at a Derry bookmakers during an armed robbery on Saturday night.

The robbery took place at Ladbroke’s bookies in the Racecourse Road area shortly before 9.30pm.

The man, who was carrying a gun, threatened staff before making off with a sum of cash.

No staff members were injured during the incident but they were said to be shaken by the terrifying experience.

The robber is described as being in his 20s, approximately 5’10” tall, of slim build and wearing a dark grey-coloured hooded top, dark-coloured track bottoms, gloves and a hat and scarf covering his face.

Shantallow Sinn Fein councillor Tony Hassan condemened the incident and described it as traumatic for the staff members involved.

“It must have been very upsetting for the members of staff caught up in this incident.

“Sadly in the run-up to Christmas we always see small businesses being targeted by criminals in this way,” he said.

Colr. Hassan also encouraged other businesses in the city to take extra precautions to guard against armed robberies.

“I urge all businesses in the area not to keep any large amounts of money on their premises and put a few extra security measures in place over the next few weeks.

“I would appeal to anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Racecourse Road on Saturday night to contact the police,” he said.

Police have appealed for anyone with information on the incident to contact them at Strand Road CID on 0845 600 8000 or via independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The bookmakers’ shop and other premises in the area have been targeted by armed robbers in the past.

Meanwhile, the PSNI have also encouraged householders in Derry to be mindful of their security in the run-up to Christmas in an effort to deter opportunistic thieves.

The police encouraged people to make sure their windows and doors are locked at night and when they leave their property.

A PSNI spokesperson said; “In the last week there have been several burglaries both in the city and in outlying rural areas.

“While burglary has reduced in the Foyle area this year we shouldn’t get complacent.

“Closing and locking all doors and windows, even when the house is occupied, will reduce the chances of an opportunistic burglar targeting your home,” the police spokesperson said.