Tavern staff held at gunpoint

TWO gun-wielding bandits wearing balaclavas raided the Ocean Shores Tavern on Easter Sunday and stole thousands of dollars from its safe.

The bandits wearing black clothing with black masks confronted two tavern staff at the front door as they left at 9.15pm after closing up for the evening.

Inspector Jim Kain said the young male and female staff had been securing the tavern on April 4 when the men struck.

One bandit was holding a small black handgun like a pistol.

Inside the tavern, frightened staff had their hands bound with plastic cable ties.

Inspector Kain said the bandits then removed a ‘substantial’ amount of cash from the safe.

When they fled the tavern, the bandits took the keys of a male staff member’s silver Subaru WRX before driving off in the sports car.

The senior officer said the vehicle was found by police abandoned two hours later at 11.30pm in a street at South Golden Beach.

With Tweed-Byron detectives investigating the brazen robbery of the tavern, located in the popular shopping complex on Rajah Road, the police have released a brief description of the two bandits.

One of the wanted men is described as 182cm tall of slim build. The second man is described as 175cm tall and of ‘fattish’ build.

Both men were wearing black clothing.

Inspector Kain said neither of the traumatised staff had been injured during the robbery.

A duty manager at the tavern yesterday morning said he would not comment on the matter. The manager of the tavern’s bottle shop – Cellarbrations – said he also could not comment

“A bit frightening,” was the comment of a business owner at the shopping centre.

The robbery is the latest in a series of armed robberies in the Northern Rivers this year.

On Tuesday March 16 two brazen robbers armed with a rifle held up the Potts-Full Tavern in daylight.

Staff in the tavern’s bottle shop at the Pottsville Waters shopping centre were confronted by the bandits, one man wearing a balaclava and the other a hooded jumper.

Video Ezy at Goonellabah was held up in January by two masked bandits wielding a sawn-off shotgun and a machete in a terrifying ordeal for a female customer who was forced to the floor with the gun pointed at her.

The bandits, a man and a woman, stole the shop attendant’s Toyota Corolla to flee from the scene.

Anyone with information in any of these robberies should phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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