Lismore Police Detective Shane Diehm speaking to media outside the Goonellabah Workers Sports Club.
Lismore Police Detective Shane Diehm speaking to media outside the Goonellabah Workers Sports Club. David Nielsen

Gunman robs sports club

A GUNMAN threatened staff at the Lismore Workers Sports Club in Goonellabah on Sunday while families dined and laughed only metres away.

The brazen robber walked briskly through the front door about 7.45pm, carrying a bag and a gun, jumped over the reception desk and pointed the weapon at two female employees.

Police said the man ordered one woman to lie on the floor and told the other to open the club's safe.

Security footage shows a patron walking past the reception desk while the robbery was under way, but the thief and his victims were out of view and the patron remained oblivious of the crime and how close he was to coming face-to-face with the gunman.

The robber, after grabbing what police described as 'a substantial amount of cash', jumped back over the counter and ran out of the front door.

Detective Sergeant Shane Diehm said the man was last seen running west from the bottom car park of the sports club, towards Goonellabah Shopping Village.

No one was injured during the incident, but Det Sgt Diehm said the two women were shaken by the incident and would receive counselling.

“There wasn't any security working out front at the time of the incident, but fortunately the two women received training a couple of weeks ago on how to deal with an armed robbery and they followed those instructions,” Det Sgt Diehm said.

“We are asking local shops and businesses to keep a look out for anyone with an unusual amount of cash and to report anything suspicious to police.”

The club declined to comment on the robbery.

The man was described as being in his early 20s, with Caucasian or tanned complexion, wearing a black jacket, black tracksuit pants with a white stripe, white joggers and a brown baseball cap.

Det Sgt Diehm said police were at the scene within seven minutes of the robbery and searched the area.

Anyone with information should contact Lismore police on 6620 0599, or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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