Belfast Telegraph

Teenage workers left 'badly shaken' after armed robbers target isolated post office

Police are investigating.
Police are investigating.

By John Breslin

Two teenagers working in a rural post office were left badly shaken after being confronted by three hooded robbers armed with a machete and a claw hammer.

Detectives are investigating the robbery, which happened at 9.40pm on Thursday evening in Creggan, Co Tyrone, on the main Omagh to Cookstown road.

The same Vivo shop was robbed early last year.

Owner Chris Robb said it was a terrifying experience for the young women, aged 18 and 16.

The robbers rifled through one of the tills and took a second one, Mr Robb said, adding that another of his shops, on Granville Road in Dungannon, was robbed last Friday.

Two men, one armed with a knife, the other an iron bar, threatened staff before fleeing with cash.

"It was all done in 10 or 12 seconds," the shop owner said of the second robbery on Barony Road.

Shock: Emmet McAleer
Shock: Emmet McAleer

"Nobody was hurt. The two girls handled themselves very well... they did what they were trained to do."

Mr Robb added: "The shop is in an isolated area.

"These days it is not a case of if something like this might happen, but when."

Three males carried out the robbery; two armed with the machete and hammer confronted staff, while a third remained at the front door.

The three robbers fled with a sum of money. They drove off towards Cookstown. Police said staff were not injured during the incident but were left badly shaken.

Councillor Emmet McAleer, who knows one of the teenagers and her family and spoke with them following the robbery, said there was shock in the community that this type of incident could happen in what he described as a quiet, rural area.

"I do not think there has been something so sinister that has happened before.

"This was quite a dangerous situation with one armed with a machete.

"I can only imagine the emotional and psychological effect this might have on a fairly vulnerable young person," Councillor McAleer said.

One of the robbers was described as wearing a black hooded top with a black scarf covering his face.

He was wearing black jogging bottoms, white or grey trainers and black gloves.

He was armed with a claw hammer with a black and yellow grip.

The second man, armed with the machete, which had a red handle, was wearing a grey hooded top, red or orange clothing underneath and a black scarf covering his face.

He was wearing blue/light blue tracksuit bottoms and grey trainers and grey gloves.

The third robber was wearing a blue and grey hooded top with red clothing underneath, grey jogging bottoms, white trainers and grey gloves.

He was wearing a mask.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact detectives at Omagh on 101.

Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The same store was robbed in February 2018. A masked man threatened the member of staff and fled with cash, scratch cards and cigarettes.

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