Two charged with KFC robbery
TWO men have been charged following the robbery of a cash-in-transit employee at Lismore yesterday morning.
Both local men were charged with aggravated robbery in company and robbery in company late last night.
The men were granted bail to appear at Lismore Local Court on August 16.
The violent daylight robbery at the Lismore KFC yesterday was foiled by the brave actions of a young employee who followed the men and reported their location to police.
Two solidly-built 18-year-old robbers allegedly brazenly bashed a ‘cash-in-transit’ contractor to the ground at the rear of the take-away food franchise in Ballina Road about 9.30am, just as he was picking up the takings for banking.
The bandits then fled on foot down Brewster Street and into the Lismore Shopping Square.
The contractor suffered facial lacerations and was treated at the scene by ambulance paramedics before being released.
The robbery appeared to have been bungled from the outset, with the pair, dressed in bright colours and without a getaway car, attempting to hide in a shopping centre with probably more security guards and CCTV cameras per square metre than anywhere in the region.
One also lost a shoe while making his escape.
The robbery sparked an all-out response by police who immediately swooped on the shopping complex and, with the help of the centre’s security guards, had the pair in custody by 9.50am.
Richmond Local Area Command duty officer Inspector Nicole Bruce praised the members of the public who provided information, and the security guards at Lismore Shopping Square who helped police in quickly detaining the two men.
Police found an amount of cash, but could not confirm if all of the money was recovered. A crime scene was quickly established at the Lismore KFC, with specialist crime scene officers and local detectives examining evidence.
KFC Lismore’s assistant manager said the restaurant reopened at 11.30am, but the drive-through remained closed until 1pm.
“Our on-duty manager was a bit shaken up by the ordeal, but is okay now and our head office is providing him with assistance,” he said.
“As soon as it happened our business manager drove straight up from Ballina to make sure we were all right.”
The young employee who assisted police discreetly followed the men after the robbery, giving police a clear description and location of the two suspects. He asked not to be named.
A spokeswoman for KFC Australia Pty Ltd could not comment on the practice of using private cash-in-transit contractors instead of armed guards, as the Lismore outlet was an independent franchise, but promised to pass on The Northern Star’s inquiry to the owners.
Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the robbery, or who may have information that could assist the investigation, to contact Lismore police via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.