Two armed hold-ups in Christchurch

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 18:05 30/06/2014
car robbery claddagh
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GETAWAY CAR: Police would like to speak with anyone with information about this white Toyota Corolla used in an armed hold-up at The Claddagh pub and restaurant in Ferry Rd, Ferrymead, Christchurch about 10.55pm on Sunday. Phone Detective Mike Scott on 363-7400.

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Two masked robbers forced a young bar manager and a customer onto the floor at gunpoint in one of two armed hold-ups in Christchurch on the same night.

Police said the men burst into The Claddagh on Ferry Rd, Ferrymead, about 10.55pm yesterday.

The bar lady and one customer were the only people in the pub at the time. 

Both were ordered onto the floor. 

''The men had their faces covered. They pointed the gun at the young bar lady,'' Detective Mike Scott said.

The robbers forced the bar worker to open a safe at gunpoint and made off with some money. 

The amount was still being worked out, Scott said. 

The ''frightening ordeal'' lasted about three minutes, before the men drove away in a white Toyota Corolla. 

Police sought sightings of the vehicle, which was last seen headed onto Ferry Rd.

''It is a concern people are willing to present a firearm to frighten and intimidate these people,'' Scott said. 

The gun was modified. It was not a pistol or a rifle, he said. 

The Claddagh co-owner Mike Kane said the incident was disappointing after opening about seven months ago. 

''At least no one is hurt. The rest is material. We'll keep on trucking,'' he said. 

The staff member was being supported by colleagues and the bar opened as normal today, he said.

About three hours earlier, a young man attempted to hold up a Peverel St, Riccarton dairy with a knife. 

Detective Sergeant Geoff Rudduck said the man, who looked about 20 years old, made no attempt to hide his identity when he threatened the Harrington Dairy owner and ordered him to ''put the money in'' about 7.30pm.

''The owner stepped back, grabbed the phone and this young man has run off,'' he said. 

City bar owners said The Claddagh hold-up was only the latest ''worrying'' bar hold-up this year. 

In April, three men held up the Brickworks Restaurant and Bar, on Centaurus Rd, at gunpoint.

Staff were forced to lie on the floor and empty the contents of the office safe into a backpack. When a cleaner arrived, one robber threatened to shoot him and struck him with the butt of the firearm. More than $1000 was taken. 

On January 26, two masked men armed with a shotgun robbed the Coasters Tavern in Redwood, getting about $15,000 in cash, and then struck at The Brewery at The Tannery in Woolston the same night.

''It's a hell of a worry,'' said one city bar owner. 

''They're on drugs half of them. Even if you do give [them what they want], it gets nasty. If you've got a gun pointed at you, you can't tell me you wouldn't be frightened,'' she said.

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- The Press

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