30/09/2011

'Halloween Robbers' Race Between Locations

Multiple robberies at seven different commercial robberies across both counties Fermanagh and Armagh on Wednesday night are now believed to have been undertaken by the same group of people.

In each case the men wore Halloween masks and carried a hatchet. Police also believe that a silver Toyota Avensis was used.

Detectives said that during a two-hour period, robberies took place in Brookeborough, Dernawilt, and Rosslea in Co Fermanagh and Middletown and Keady in Co Armagh and involved two men.

A PSNI statement yesterday revealed: "Staff were threatened in each incident, but fortunately none was harmed. Cash and cigarettes were stolen.

"The first report to police came shortly before 8pm after an incident at Main Street in Brookeborough.

"Two men demanded money, but made off when none was handed over," the PSNI said, adding, "they then robbed a takeaway in the same street, before leaving the village."

Then, at around 8.30pm the men went into a shop at Dernawilt Road, Rosslea and stole money and cigarettes. They moved on to steal money at Main Street in Rosslea.
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"Shortly before 9.30pm two men went into a filling station at Monaghan Road, Middletown," the PSNI statement continued.

"They stole money and cigarettes [and] about 30 minutes later they robbed two shops at Victoria Street in Keady, within a few minutes of each other."

Now, the police have said they have a particular appeal about the vehicle used by the men.

The silver Toyota Avensis bore the registration number WCZ 1224.

Detectives want to hear from anyone who saw it between Saturday (24th) when it was stolen at Newtownbutler, Co Fermanagh, and Wednesday, or saw it anywhere between Brookeborough and Keady on Wednesday.

Police believe that the men travelled from Fermanagh to Armagh through Co Monaghan, and have not ruled out the possibility they crossed the border after the second robbery in Keady.

At this stage, the car has not yet been located.

The police said that anyone with information about the car, or the men in it is asked to contact police on 0845 600 8000, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The statement concluded: "Police say that robberies of this scale are not common and a number of distinct lines of enquiry are being followed."

(BMcC/GK)

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