Anger over armed robbery at Cable Spar in Whitehead

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The owner of a Whitehead service station has spoken of his anger after his store was targeted in an armed robbery last week.

The Cable Spar on Belfast Road was robbed by two masked men on Wednesday night.

The men, one of whom was carrying a baseball bat, entered the store at around 10pm and threatened the staff.

One of the youths is described as being of heavy build, wearing dark clothing and a balaclava.

The second male is described as being of medium build, wearing a dark top, light coloured track bottoms, black hat and a black scarf covering his face.

The incident follows an armed robbery last Tuesday afternoon at a newsagents in the Islandmagee Road area.

Cable Spar owner Jonathan Finch said the robbery was the tenth overall for the Solo retail group to which the store belongs. “But it’s never happened at the Whitehead store in the three years we’ve owned it,” he added.

“Two masked men came in just before 10 o’clock; one of them had a baseball bat and they were very aggressive to the two staff members.

“The staff were very frightened and the whole thing left them in a state of shock.”

As well as a quantity of cigarettes, the men also made off with money from the till in excess of £1000.

“I’m very angry about it; I heard about the robbery down the road the other evening and I thought there should have been a bit more of a police presence after that,” Jonathan said.

“We’re an award-winning company and we strive to keep our standards up; for someone to come in a and violate the business and threaten staff is not on.”

Indicating that it was business as usual at the Belfast Road service station, Jonathan added: “My grandfather was general manager at the Co-op throughout the Troubles and he didn’t close up shop then, so I’m not going to now.”

Meanwhile, police would appeal to anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area to contact them at Newtownabbey CID on the non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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