Woman can't sleep after robbery
A YOUNG woman who had a machete thrust in her face and her wallet stolen during an armed robbery at Goonellabah Video Ezy last week hasn’t been able to sleep or enter a shop alone since the violent incident.
The 25-year-old aspiring singer, who asked to remain anonymous, stopped in to pick up a DVD on her way home from work last Wednesday week, just moments before two masked bandits burst in brandishing a shotgun and a machete.
Her life hasn’t been the same since.
“All I can think of is that first moment they stormed in” she said, speaking from her mother’s home a week after the terrifying incident.
The bandits forced her to the floor while they robbed the cash register, physically terrifying her and the 19-year-old female shop attendant who was closing up at the time.
“At first I thought it was some drunk person yelling and then I realised they had masks and the guy had a gun,” she said.
“He pointed the gun at me and yelled at me to get on the ground.”
Speaking for the first time since the ordeal, the independent young woman, who once chased a bag-snatcher through the streets of Brisbane to get her belongings back, is struggling to come to terms with the ordeal.
So far she has only taken one day off work and appears visibly annoyed with herself for not ‘coping better’.
“I didn’t sleep at all for the first three days,” she said.
“It’s made me really nervous. Some days I think, God that really did happen.
“When I think about going out I think ‘no, someone could easily rob me there’.
“I can only sleep during the day when it’s light.”
The bandits took her wallet with her ID, credit cards and several hundred dollars cash, before stealing the shop attendant’s car to escape.
“It scares me to think they know who I am but it was worse for her. She was crying and I just had to sit there. They were right in her face. He kicked in the counter door and physically shoved her,” she said.
“All I could do was hope she was alright because I couldn’t do anything. You can’t disarm someone who’s got a gun.”
After ringing the police she immediately called her mother, a nurse, who dropped everything and raced to the store.
“I had to know she was ok; I had to see her for myself,” her mother said.
“I was on the scene within minutes comforting both girls.”
Her daughter was still downplaying the ordeal.
“I didn’t expect mum to come down, I was thinking I’m alright; they didn’t kill us, we’re still alive,” she said.
“That’s what I was thinking at the time, now I’m not so good.”
Howard Brown, the vice-president of the NSW Victims of Crime Assistance League, said such crimes can have a devastating effect on people’s lives and strongly encouraged victims to seek support.
“It can make you introspective and introverted which will isolate you, magnifying the stress to which you’ve been exposed. People need to understand this is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation – not the other way around,” he said.
More information is available at www.vocal.org.au.
Richmond crime manager Detective Inspector Greg Moore said that due to the nature of this crime, police were highly motivated to catch the bandits and were following several lines of inquiry since finding the stolen blue 2005 Toyota Corolla get-away car abandoned at Geoff Watt Oval in Alstonville last Saturday.
“We have arranged a reward for any information leading to a conviction,” he said. Contact Lismore police on 6626 0599, or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.