Masked man uses pepper spray in Strabane shop robbery

PSNI crest
PSNI crest

Police in Strabane are hunting a masked man who sprayed a member of staff with pepper spray while he robbed a local chemist shop.

Police say the incident happened around 5:35pm on Saturday.

“It was reported that a masked man entered the premises armed with pepper spray. It is believed that a member of staff was sprayed in the face during the incident,” a PSNI spokesman said.

“ It is not known at this stage if anything was taken during the incident and the member of staff assaulted during the incident was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment to his injuries.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Brian Mc Mahon said a nearby shop was also robbed. He said staff at both premises were subjected to a “ violent and terrifying ordeal.”

“I would firstly like to extend my sympathy to the staff who were subject to this violent and terrifying ordeal and hope that they can recover from the physical and psychological trauma which has been inflicted upon them at the hands of this callous individual.” he said.

“As I understand it, the masked robber was a male in his teens, wearing gloves and a hoody and armed with pepper spray. He threatened the young girl in the shop and stole money from top up and tills. He then tried to rob the adjoining pharmacy and sprayed the pharmacist in the face and neck with pepper spray, requiring hospitalization.

“It is clear that this robber is a violent and dangerous individual and I would appeal to anyone who may have information about his identity to pass it on to the PSNI immediately so that he can be apprehended and brought before the courts.

“Our local shops provide an invaluable service in our community and there is great anger that this has happened,” he said.

Police said their enquiries are continuing and appealed for anyone with any information to contact Strabane Police Station on 0845 600 8000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.