Staff terrified in Bookie raid - Friday 12th of August 2005

CUSTOMERS were ordered to lie face down on the floor by armed raiders during a robbery at a Bury bookies.

Miss Gemma Postle, the assistant manager of the Tote branch in Tottington Road, was grabbed by the masked men and had a handgun held against her as they kicked down a locked office door and grabbed around £600 in cash.

The two male customers caught up in the robbery had £200 stolen when they were searched.

A second member of staff, Mrs Barbara Ong, managed to lock herself in the toilets during the incident.

Mrs Noreen Deakin, manager of the Tote branch, was not in the building during the robbery. She said later: "There were two members of staff, assistant manager Gemma Postle, and teller Barbara Ong, and two customers in the shop when two men walked in.

"They had a handgun and they ordered the customers to get on the floor. They went through the mens pockets and stole a few hundred pounds from them. Gemma was grabbed and the men went to the office door which was locked. They began kicking it in which must have taken a while to do. When they got in they grabbed around £600 in cash.

"Barbara, who is 60, locked herself in the toilets which was the sensible thing.

"She is back at work but Gemma has really taken it badly. She has only been with us for a few months and is very distressed. She is only 20. I am just thankful that no one was injured. The money can be replaced."

Detectives have launched an appeal for witnesses to the raid which happened shortly before 9pm on Saturday, August 13.

The gunmen are thought to have left the scene in a "W registered blue Ford Focus.

One of the men, who placed a stocking over his head, was of medium build while his accomplice was of Eastern European appearance, aged 31, with black medium length hair and wearing Timberland boots.

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