THREE HOLD-UPS IN SIX WEEKS
By ALEX EASTON
A HOLD-UP at a Lismore credit union yesterday may be linked to two similar robberies at Lismore and Ballina, police say.
The Bananacoast Credit Union in Magellan Street yesterday morning became the second Lismore credit union to be robbed in less than a week.
It follows the robbery last Friday of the Southern Cross Credit Union in Woodlark Street, and the robbery of the Summerland Credit Union in River Street, Ballina, in late April. In all cases, police said the robber was a man with short dark hair, about 170cm tall, who escaped on foot.
Acting Richmond Local Area Command crime manager, Detective Inspector Anne Langford, said she could neither confirm nor deny a connection between the robberies, because police had not yet been able to compare video evidence.
However, she agreed that descriptions of the men and the style of the robberies were similar.
Det Insp Langford said yesterday's robbery happened about 10.50am, when a man entered the Bananacoast Credit Union, approached a female teller and demanded cash.
The cash was handed over and the man escaped on foot, walking down Magellan Street and into Nesbitt Lane.
Det Insp Langford declined to say how much cash the man escaped with.
She said the man did not produce a weapon during the robbery.
Det Insp Langford would not say whether the man had told the teller he had one.
She said 13 police were immediately deployed to search the Lismore CBD for the man, but failed to find him.
Staff at the credit union were shaken by the incident, but noone was harmed, she said.
The man was described as being in his late 20s with an olive complexion, about 172cm tall, clean-shaven with short, dark coloured hair.
He was wearing a white jacket with a zig-zag pattern on it, dark pants and joggers.
In Friday's robbery at Southern Cross Credit Union, a man threatened staff with a pair of scissors before escaping on foot with a 'moderate' amount of cash.
The robber was described as Caucasian, aged between 20-25 and about 170cm tall with short brown hair.
He wore a dark baseball cap, long pants, a dark-coloured track suit top with a yellow stripe from the shoulder to the cuff on the sleeves and the word 'KUSTOM' written in white across the chest.
In the Ballina robbery on April 29, a man entered the Summerland Credit Union branch in River Street and demanded cash.
He told staff he had a gun, but staff told police they did not see the weapon.
The man escaped on foot with what police described as a 'substantial' amount of cash and was last seen running down the Trevan Ford arcade.
Police said the man was aged about 30 (a witness described him as in his early 20s), Caucasian, between 160cm to 170cm tall, with close-cropped dark brown hair and a distinctive scar on his upper lip.
He was wearing an Australian football guernsey with dark green and gold stripes, and grey track pants.
Anyone with information on any of the robberies should call Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.