Armed robber steals mail in Casino
MAIL, money and cigarettes were stolen from the Casino West Newsagency when a knife-wielding robber burst into the building on Monday.
The armed hold-up happened at 6.20am, and Richmond Local Area Command crime manager Inspector Greg Moore said police were still hunting the culprit.
Insp Moore said the man was aged in his late teens to early 20s.
He allegedly threatened the female shop assistant with a kitchen knife.
“He then left the shop on foot with a small amount of cash and an amount of cigarettes,” he said.
Insp Moore said the man was seen entering a maroon-Nissan Pulsar sedan and headed west on North Street.
The vehicle was recovered a short time later burnt out in Reynolds Road, Casino.
Inquiries have confirmed that the vehicle had beenreported stolen from a Casino smash repairer yesterday morning.
The robber is Caucasian, about 170cm tall, slight build, wearing dark clothing and a dark hooded jacket with a cloth or something similar across his face.
“We’re very keen to identify the person or persons involved,” he said.
“It’s unusual to have these sorts of incidents in this area. They’re more common in metropolitan areas. It’s a concern that a small business was targeted in this way.”
Insp Moore said at this stage the hold-up was not being linked to similar incidents in the Lismore area in the past year.
One of the newsagency’s neighbours, Simone Dudgeon, said apart from hearing a car at 3-4am, everything had been quiet.
“We normally do hear things, but usually our dogs go off,” she said.
“We just saw the police car there this morning and weren’t sure if they were just sitting there or something had happened.”
Ms Dudgeon said apart from a few incidents every now and then, the area was fairly quiet and the armed hold-up was ‘a bit of a shock’.
“Usually we just get a few drunks, and we’ve had people smash up the telephone boxes across the road, but nothing this bad,” she said.
Casino West resident Geoff King knew something serious must have happened when his newspaper didn’t arrive by 10am, and he turned up at the newsagency, along with other residents, to find the shop closed.
“They’re good people, and the paper is delivered every morning,” he said.
“I just thought their car might’ve broken down, but when it got late I knew something had gone berserk, so I came in to pick up my paper.”
Mr King said he had been coming to the shop since it opened.
“When they got the CCTV cameras put up I used to walk in there and say it was a hold-up, and they’d say ‘get out ya old bugger’,” he said.
“It was all this big joke, but it’s happened for real this time. It’s not good.”
While Hotham and North streets appeared calm and quiet after the hold-up, Mr King said the newsagency had been targeted in the past.
“I came up here one morning and the windows were smashed, so they put the screens on after that,” he said.
“And they fill the mailboxes up with paint. There’s no need for it.”
Mr King has lived in the area for 53 years and said it was ‘getting worse’.
The newsagency is also the Casino West Post Office, and Australia Post spokeswoman Rachelle McDonald said the bandit took one bag of mail posted last Friday.
“Mail posted over the counter at Casino West Licensed Post Office on Friday, June 25, was affected,” she said
Casino residents who are concerned their mail may be affected are encouraged to contact the Australia Post Customer Service Centre on 131 318.
Police are also appealing to members of the public for assistance in identifying the person/s involved in the incident.
Any person with information should contact Casino police or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.
Casino West Newsagency staff were unable to comment on the robbery yesterday.