Charcoal Inn licensee Craig Yates inspects the damage at his Casino bottle shop after it was ram-raided and robbed on Saturday night.
Charcoal Inn licensee Craig Yates inspects the damage at his Casino bottle shop after it was ram-raided and robbed on Saturday night. Scott Harlum

Hotelier attacked by ram raiders

A CASINO licensee was chased out of his own hotel by a group of balaclava-clad thieves on Saturday night, after the offenders ram-raided his business.

Craig Yates had just finished closing up the Charcoal Inn on Centre Street about 10pm when he heard an almighty crash downstairs.

“I heard a very loud bang and I thought it was a car accident. But I heard it again so I went down to the car park and I saw them,” he said.

About 10.20pm, police said two vehicles drove up to the closed bottle shop section of the hotel.

One vehicle, believed to be a blue Subaru utility or similar, reversed into the roller door of the bottle shop, forcing it to buckle.

That’s when Mr Yates stepped in.“I confronted them and two of them turned on me,” he said.

“They chased me out of the shop and one of them threw a bottle of spirits at me and it grazed me before it smashed on the ground.

“They had no hesitation in confronting and getting rid of me.”

Mr Yates called Triple-0 as he ran from the offenders.

“It’s all over now and I’m glad no one was hurt,” he said.

A short time later, police spotted a Hyundai Sonata, which was possibly involved in the incident, on the Bruxner Highway at Piora, 20km west of Casino.

Police chased the vehicle before the car slowed down and the driver jumped out and fled into bushland.

Police searched the area but could not find the offender.



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