Northern Ireland news

Two men arrested after cash van guards robbed at gunpoint

The scene of a cash-in-transit van robbery in Greysteel, Co Derry, on Saturday afternoon. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Mairead Holland

THE driver of a cash-in-transit van has been robbed at gunpoint by two men in Co Derry.

The vehicle had been parked outside a shop/filling station on Clooney Road in Greysteel.

The incident took place around midday on Saturday and the culprits, one armed with what was described as a handgun, got away with a cash box containing money.

They are reported to have fled on foot towards houses on the opposite side of the road, in the St Columba's Walk area.

Police said the driver of the van was uninjured but had been left shaken "by what must have been an absolutely frightening ordeal".

A spokesman said: "This was a brazen and despicable act that was carried out at a busy time when there would have been a number of customers in the forecourt of the premises."

SDLP councillor Orla Beattie described the robbery as "criminal and cowardly".

"The delivery and collection of cash is an important part of everyday life and those involved in this work are carrying out their duties on behalf of all of us. They must be protected and supported," she said.

"I have no doubt the sight of men with guns must have been a terrible experience for the personnel and I sincerely hope they can overcome this cowardly attack on their work.

"In recent times ATMs have been uprooted from premises. Now it seems that robbing those delivering the cash is the next step in this downward spiral of criminality and armed robbery. What next for these gangs?"

Sinn Féin councillor Dermot Nicholl condemned the robbery as a "reprehensible attack".

“Thankfully no one was injured. However, this must have been a terrifying ideal for the driver of the van and others in the area at that time," he said.

Police said there would have been a steady flow of traffic travelling through Greysteel at the time and appealed to any drivers who were in the area, particularly those who may have captured footage on dash cams to contact them.

Meanwhile, a 32-year-old Keady man has been remanded in custody after being charged with the theft of an ATM from a Co Tyrone store.

Eugene Tomany, from Glen Road in the town, appeared at a special sitting of Omagh Magistrates' Court on Saturday.

He is accused of stealing the ATM from the SuperValu store at Fintona on December 22 last year.

The ATM was removed from the wall of the premises using a digger. It contained £13,000, the property of Danske Bank.

He is due to appear again before Omagh Magistrates Court on March 26.

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