Hammer-wielding robber targets local businesses

Chief Inspector Derek McCamley
Chief Inspector Derek McCamley

Detectives are hunting an armed robber who stole money during raids on two fast food businesses in Ballyclare on Sunday night (November 13).

The man also targeted a hotel near Glengormley a few hours later, but this time he fled the scene empty handed.

At around 8.20pm on Sunday police received a report that a male wearing a balaclava and carrying a hammer had entered a hot food take-away at The Square and grabbed a sum of money from the till before making off towards the Harrier Way car park.

Just over an hour later, it was reported that a male wearing a balaclava and carrying a hammer had entered The Clarence chip shop at the bottom of the Hillhead Road and stolen a sum of money.

“He was in and out of the place in a matter of seconds and took some cash, but thankfully none of the staff were hurt,” said Clarence owner, Denis Stronge.

Shortly after 1am on Monday (November 14), a male used a hammer to smash a door at Corr’s Corner Hotel on the Ballyclare Road and demanded that staff hand over money.

“He came up to the door and the night porter saw him. He said he wanted the till and hit the door with a hammer, but the night porter basically told him to get lost and he didn’t get in. Thank God no-one was hurt and we just had to fix a broken window,” said hotel owner, Eugene McKeever.

A PSNI spokesperson confirmed that no one was injured during any of the incidents, but said that staff at each of the premises were left badly shaken.

Police believe the same man may have been responsible for all three incidents.

Chief Inspector Derek McCamley commented: “This is a shameful and despicable way to act against people who are trying to carry out their business. I understand that robberies are a real concern for the community and I want to assure the community that my officers are working diligently to find the person responsible for these robberies.”