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Knife-wielding robber flees shop after staff soaking

By Nevin Farrell

Published 08/10/2015

CCTV footage showing the robber fleeing after getting soaked
CCTV footage showing the robber fleeing after getting soaked
CCTV footage showing the robber fleeing after getting soaked
CCTV footage showing the robber fleeing after getting soaked
Tom Moorhead, owner of the Spar shop in Ballymena

A shop owner has praised the bravery of quick-thinking staff who forced a knife-wielding robber to flee empty-handed by throwing a jug of water over him.

The drama happened at Moorhead's Spar shop on Ballymena's Larne Road on Tuesday night.

When the robber came in, he demanded cash from the two women behind the counter. But instead of caving in, one of them threw a jug of water in his face, after which he bolted in shock.

Shop owner Tom Moorhead said: "Around 7.45pm on Tuesday, a young male with a hoodie and a mask of some description on came right up to the counter and said, 'Put the money in the bag and you won't get hurt'. I think he said that twice, but the female member of staff refused to give him money.

"She shouted to another female member of staff, and she came up with a jug of water she was going to wash out the coffee machine with. When she saw what was going on, she threw it round him. The first member of staff then rang a bell, and that scared him and away. He was sort of stunned and away he ran out.

"I can't thank my members of staff enough. They were very brave and obviously shaken up a bit. They were definitely courageous in not handing over money. We told the staff members to go home because they were shaken, and then we closed for the police to take fingerprints."

The raid was the third on premises owned by Mr Moorhead, who said: "We used to have a Vivo shop down the road, and it happened to the first member of staff down there as well.

"It is not a common thing nor do we want it be common, but it is the second time it has happened to her [the member of staff], and it happened to my wife as well."

Police said the would-be robber was dressed in a navy hooded top, navy tracksuit bottoms and was wearing white trainers.

Chief Inspector Ball added: "I would ask anyone with any information about this incident to contact detectives in Ballymena Police Station on the non-emergency number 101. Or if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111."

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