Brave face after tavern robbed by man wielding a machete

BACK TO BUSINESS: Ocean Shores Tavern co-owner Kim Dowling with Jason Heares – happy to see business as usual after an armed hold-up on Sunday at the tavern. STORY PAGE 4
BACK TO BUSINESS: Ocean Shores Tavern co-owner Kim Dowling with Jason Heares – happy to see business as usual after an armed hold-up on Sunday at the tavern. STORY PAGE 4 Marc Stapelberg

STAFF at Ocean Shores Tavern have been offered counselling after they were threatened with a machete and tied up in a violent armed robbery on Sunday night.

Ocean Shores Tavern owner Kim Dowling said the staff were preparing to close the tavern when a man wearing a bandanna across his face forced entry through a locked door at about 9.30pm.

"There was no patrons, it was just the two staff members who were doing lockup," Mrs Dowling said.

Everything was locked when the man forced entry and threatened the male and female staff members with a machete.

Police said the staff were tied up before the thief raided the safe before fleeing on foot with money.

ROBBED AGAIN: A man with a weapon entered the Ocean Shores Tavern and stole money on the weekend.
ROBBED AGAIN: A man with a weapon entered the Ocean Shores Tavern and stole money on the weekend. Marc Stapelberg

Mrs Dowling said it was business as usual at the Tavern yesterday as detectives investigated the incident.

"The staff who were involved in the robbery have been offered counselling," she said.

"The staff are OK, they're safe and a little bit rattled but they will be alright."

The last robbery at the tavern occurred on Easter Sunday, 2010, when two bandits wearing balaclavas and brandishing a pistol tied up staff and fled with cash from the safe.

"We have had the business now for over three years and in all that time it has been very trouble free," she said.

"The security here is very good and the man was captured on CCTV which has been provided to police."

She said there were few witnesses to the robbery due to it occurring on a quiet Sunday night.

Tweed Byron Inspector Bobbie Cullen said police were appealing for witnesses to come forward who may have seen a man about 185cm tall, with a dark complexion and a solid build in the Ocean Shores area.

"He was seen wearing a dark-coloured hoodie, dark tracksuit pants with white stripe down the side and he had a scarf around his face," Insp Cullen said.

"We're appealing to the community if they know anyone who matches that description, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000."

Topics:  armed robbery crime police robbery

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