Masked men armed with hammer threaten and rob staff at east Belfast shop

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by Gráinne Connolly

Staff at a shop in east Belfast have been left badly shaken after being threatened and robbed by masked men. 

The suspects wearing masks and gloves, entered the premises on the Gilnahirk Road, shortly after 10pm last night. 

One the men, who has been described as being in his mid-thirties, grabbed a shop worker by the throat and forced him to get down on the ground. 

When a second staff member attempted to raise the alarm, she was threatened with a hammer.

The pair fled from the store with money and cigarettes. 

Detective Sergeant Dave Stewart said, "This must have been a frightening and distressing ordeal for the staff members who, while not physically injured, have been left badly shaken.  

"The first suspect is described as 6' tall and of medium build. He is reported to have worn a mask over his mouth and eyes, a dark-coloured hoodie with the hood up and dark 'Adidas' bottoms with three stripes down the side. 

"The second suspect is described as being smaller and of a slimmer build. He was reported as being aged in his mid-forties and wore a dark hooded top with the hood-up.

"He wore a mask that had horizontal stripes and dark 'Adidas' track bottoms that had stripes on the outside of the legs from below the knee.

"I want to appeal to anyone who has information about this incident, or who saw two males matching the description of the suspects in the area around 10pm to call us on the non emergency number 101, quoting reference number 1508 of 14/05/19." 

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