Five men hold-up bowls club

By ZOE SATHERLEY

FIVE masked robbers held up the night manager at Byron Bay Bowling Club late on Sunday night, getting away with a substantial amount of cash.

The men, all wearing balaclavas, entered the Marvel Street club at 9.50pm, 10 minutes before closing time, just as the night manager was packing up.

Only one patron was in the club at the time and he was completely unaware of the robbery as he was playing a poker machine in an adjoining room, police said.

The night manager was threatened by the men, all about 190cm tall, who demanded he show them the location of the club's multiple safes.

Byron Bay duty officer Inspector Owen King said there was a considerable amount of cash already counted and stored in cloth bank bags, which were about to be placed into the unlocked safes.

He declined to disclose the amount stolen.

The thieves took all of the bags during the robbery, which took only three or four minutes.

No weapon was seen and the night manager was unharmed and not tied up, he said.

The men left on foot and no car was heard or seen.

Insp King said he believed the men had carried out research on their target, carrying out the robbery at an ideal time when the club was nearly empty.

The club also has no video surveillance cameras or back-to-base alarm system.

Crime Squad police took a number of exhibits, Insp King said.

He urged anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the vicinity of the club around the time of the robbery to please call Byron Bay police on 6685 9499.

Insp King said the robbery does not appear to be linked to any other robberies in the area.

No-one from the Byron Bay Bowling Club was available for comment.



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