Daylight robbery '˜nightmare' in Co. Derry

An employee of a village shop who was robbed at knife point has described the terrifying ordeal as a 'nightmare'.

Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 8:40 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 3:41 pm

The woman, who prefers not to be identified, spoke exclusively to the ‘Journal’ following the robbery at the shop on the main road in the centre of Drumsurn.

While not physically injured, the woman has been left badly shaken by the robbery.

“I’m just so glad to have my life,” she said. “It felt like it was going on for ages the more it was over within minutes. It’s been a nightmare; a complete shock. We’re a small community; a shop and a post office.”

The woman said she was alone in the shop at approximately 11.15am on Friday when she was confronted with two masked men wearing balaclavas.

One of the men stood at the door, while the other man approached the counter, she said.

“He walked towards me and pulled out a knife and mumbled something about money and I thought ‘this is it’,” said the woman.

“I was trying to get the till open. He just stood there. He didn’t come in beside me. It was as if I was serving a customer. I just thought, ‘get the till open and give him the money’. I knew when I saw the knife it meant money.

“I was the only one there and I had to stay put and do what they wanted me to do.”

The woman has been comforted by the overwhelming support she’s received since the robbery, inundated with messages of support from the local community.

“That means a lot, definitely, without a doubt,” she said, adding: “I’m glad for the other workers it wasn’t them. It had to be somebody.”

Local Sinn Fein councillor Brenda Chivers described the robbers as “low life scum” and joined the police appeal for information about the robbery.

Police say the two men fled from the village shop with a sum of money that was handed over.

They drove away in a blue Peugeot car displaying no number plates and left the area.

“Both men were said to be aged in their early 20s and wore dark clothing,” said a police spokesperson.

Sinn Fein councillor Brenda Chivers lives in Drumsurn and works close to the village shop, as postmistress in the Post Office.

She was robbed while at work, and said the trauma remains raw.

“For the person in the shop it’s a terrifying experience and I know it will stay with her for some time. It affects your whole life.

“Even today, I’m still nervous about going to work,” said Colr Chivers. “These low life scum don’t think of the consequences of what they do, and how it can impact people and their life.”

Colr. Chivers is among the many people to offer support to the employee in the shop that was robbed on November 25.

“The whole community, all our hearts go out to her. Everyone is shocked at what happened, but hopefully the perpetrators will be caught. I would appeal to anyone who has information, no matter how insignificant they think it is, to come forward.”

PSNI Detective Inspector Chris Millar urges anyone with any information about the incident to contact detectives at Coleraine on 101 quoting reference number 434 25/11/16 or, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.