Rathcoole convenience store robbed by armed thugs

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DETECTIVES are hunting two men who robbed the Spar store at The Diamond in Rathcoole on Sunday night (February 10).

Shortly before 8.25pm two masked men, one carrying a knife and one wielding a hammer, entered the premises and threatened staff before making off with a sum of money and a quantity of cigarettes.

One of the robbers is described as being approximately 5’6” tall, of medium build, with ginger coloured hair. He was wearing a grey tracksuit type top and blue jeans. The other man is described as being approximately 5’10” tall and was wearing a black coloured tracksuit top and blue jeans.

A police spokesperson said that no-one was injured during the robbery, but that shop staff were left badly shaken by the ordeal.

Sunday night’s incident was the latest in a series of robberies at the store, and local PUP representative Phil Hamilton has called for a meeting between the owners of the business, the police and local community representatives to see what can be done to prevent similar incidents in future.

“This business is part of the community and it employs a lot of local people, so this wasn’t just an attack on the business, it was an attack on the community and a vital service that a lot of people in the area rely on. We can’t afford to lose this shop, so something has to be done to put a stop to these sorts of incidents,” he commented.

The robbery was also condemned by North Belfast MLA Nelson McCausland, who appealed for local people to help the police track down the two men responsible.

“Without doubt someone will know who was responsible for this crime. They must be caught before they carry out further crimes. I would appeal to anyone with knowledge or suspicion of who was responsible to pass that information on the police,” he said.

Investigating officers have appealed for anyone with information to contact them at Newtownabbey Station on 0845 600 8000.