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Masked knifeman threatens female worker in Derry hold-up

CCTV footage of the assailants, one of whom menaced a shop worker with a knife
CCTV footage of the assailants, one of whom menaced a shop worker with a knife
CCTV footage of the assailants, one of whom menaced a shop worker with a knife
Leona O'Neill

By Leona O'Neill

Masked men held a knife to a mother during an armed robbery in Londonderry on Wednesday night.

Two men entered the Whites shop on Drumleck Drive in the Shantallow area shortly before 10.30pm and demanded money from the till and cigarettes be handed over.

Shop owner Terry White says the shop worker was left traumatised by the incident.

"The two masked men came into the shop and one of them held a knife to a member of staff while the other stayed at the door," he said.

"When he held the knife to her he was threatening her to get her to open the till.

"She did open it and he took the money but he said there was more and demanded she give it to him.

"He demanded cigarettes, too, and he took them and they ran out.

"The woman they attacked is a mother of children and was left totally shocked, badly shaken and traumatised by this incident.

"It was terrifying for her."

This is the third robbery in Whites shops throughout the city this year.

Terry said that he has taken every security measure possible to stop robberies at his stores, to no avail.

"I have an abundance of security cameras in the shops as well as panic buttons," he said.

"There is little else I can do.

"We want to remain customer friendly.

"It is sad to say that I have actually become accustomed to this happening.

"We have been robbed so many times I have lost count.

"I couldn't tell you a number - but I could tell you the names of every single shop worker who has had to deal with the aftermath of it.

"I am disgusted by this.

"I have done everything to keep my staff safe.

"We are a small business and sometimes you have to question is it worth keeping the stores going if this keeps happening?

"I hope people can identify those who did this and get them caught."

Police say they are investigating the robbery.

Detective Sergeant McLaughlin said: "We received a report at around 10.30pm that two masked males, one of whom was armed with a knife, entered the shop approximately 10 minutes earlier and threatened a staff member before making off with a sum of money and a quantity of cigarettes.

"Thankfully the member of staff wasn't injured.

"However, this must have been a terrifying ordeal for the staff member who was simply doing her job at her place of work.

"I want to appeal to anyone who was in the area on Wednesday night and saw two males acting suspiciously, or who has information which could assist our investigation, to get in touch with detectives at Strand Road on 101, quoting reference 2108 of 10/07/19."

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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