Armed robber holds up newsagent

AN ARBROATH businessman has described the horror he suffered after his shop was robbed by a hammer-wielding thief.

On Wednesday morning shortly after 7 a.m. a man brandishing a hammer walked into the Keptie Newsagency at 55 Keptie Street and after threatening a member of staff made off in the direction of Helen Street with a three figure sum.

Shop assistant Barbara Butler was on duty when the man, described as being around 30 years old, of medium build and around 5ft 5in, wearing dark clothes and a beanie hat entered the shop.

The entire incident was captured by the shop’s CCTV, and according to the owner Wayne Strachan, took less than a minute from start to finish.

He said: “We got it all on CCTV. He made her open the till, took about £300 from it and just took off.”

Mr Strachan added: “He hit the counter with a hammer, let Barbara know he was meaning it, got her to open the till and took the money out himself.

“Another shopper was there, but was unable to stop him.”

Mr Strachan added he is thankful that everyone stayed calm and no one was hurt, saying the consequences “were not worth thinking about.”

He revealed he had sent Barbara home as soon as he had alerted the police, and described her as “a bit shaken”, but otherwise fine, and was helping the police by looking at mugshots.

Mr Strachan added: “I’ve been here six-and-a-half years and it’s never happened before. I’m livid, really, really angry. I can’t believe it.”

According to Mr Strachan, the robber picked a strange time for his crime, he said: “I’m really quite busy at that time of the morning.”

If the money is not recovered then to claim the money back on his insurance would be counter-productive according to Mr Strachan, as the excess would leave him with a mere fraction of the money taken.

He said: “I’m hopeful, but whether we get the money back I don’t know.

“I feel a bit violated when someone can come in and do that. I would advise people to think about the possibility of this happening to them and have CCTV in place.”

A spokesperson for Tayside Police said: “Police investigations are continuing in the area, with officers carrying out door-to-door enquiries and a review of CCTV footage is under way.

“Tayside Police would appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident or who has information that could assist enquiries to call 0300 111 2222, or speak to any officer.

“Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.”

At the time of going to press Tayside Police had confirmed that a 32-year-old man had been detained and was assisting them with their enquiries.