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Robber puts scissors to Belfast shop worker's neck before trying to steal van in 'reckless' raid

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Appeal: Paula Bradshaw

Appeal: Paula Bradshaw

Appeal: Paula Bradshaw

A shop worker in south Belfast has been left shaken after a robber held a pair of scissors to his neck and demanded money.

The raid has been condemned as "reckless" at a time when emergency services are stretched.

Police said that shortly after 10.30am yesterday, it was reported that a man entered a shop on the Lisburn Road.

"He approached a male member of staff and threatened him by holding a pair of scissors to his neck and demanded money," a PSNI spokesman said.

"The male made off on foot from the premises towards the Lower Windsor Avenue area with a sum of money."

Although the male staff member was not injured, he was left badly shaken.

A short time later, it was reported that the man had attempted to take a van parked in the Lower Windsor Avenue area.

"The driver of the vehicle then chased the male towards the Edinburgh Street area, then the male ran towards the junction of Edinburgh Street and the Lisburn Road," the officer said.

"It was reported the male made off towards the Edinburgh Street area following the incident.

"No damage was reported to the vehicle and the driver was not injured.

"The male is described as being aged in his 30s, 5ft 10ins in height with short, dark hair and wearing a black hooded top with a scarf pulled over his face and blue tracksuit bottoms.

"Enquiries are continuing and we would appeal to anyone with any information regarding either incident to contact detectives on 101, quoting reference number 380 25/03/20."

Alternatively, information can also be provided anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Alliance South Belfast MLA Paula Bradshaw said it was a "reckless and crazy" act.

She said it was particularly alarming during the coronavirus pandemic.

"At a time of the biggest health crisis we have faced for over a century, for anyone to rob one of the few stores remaining open and providing essential services is reckless and crazy," Ms Bradshaw said.

"That the perpetrator then proceeded also to try to steal a van defies belief.

"The PSNI now has to divert resources at a time when they should be keeping the community safe and ensuring that we manage the burden on our Health Services.

"That is utterly appalling.

"My sympathies first of all go to the shopkeeper affected.

"This is a difficult enough period for anyone without going through such an ordeal."

Belfast Telegraph