Police are appealing for witnesses following the report of a robbery at a service station in the Crankill road area of Ballymena in the early hours of this morning, Friday 9 November.
Detective Sergeant Peter Crothers said: “A male staff member reported this incident to us around 4am, saying that between 2.15am and 2.30am, he was approached by a man outside the premises who was armed with a handgun.
“He directed the employee back inside the store and was then joined by three other males. They were all dressed in black coats, dark-coloured bottoms and wearing white ski masks and gloves.
“At one point, the gunman hid behind the till and instructed the staff member to serve a female customer. He then produced clear plastic bin bags and instructed the employee to fill them with cigarettes. He also took a sum of cash and the contents of a charity box.
“The staff member was then tied up with his own belt and a length of wire to a drinks’ machine. The employee managed to free himself after a period of time and raise the alarm.
“I am appealing to anyone who was in the Crankill road area this morning between 2.15am and 3.15am and saw any suspicious activity to get in touch with police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 142 of 9/11/18.
“We would also like to speak to the female customer who unwittingly entered the premises during the incident. Whilst we do not believe she was connected in any way to the robbery, she may have information that could help with our investigation into what took place.”
Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.