Northern Ireland

East Belfast: shop worker grabbed by throat in robbery

Gilnahirk Road Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption The suspects ran from the store with money and cigarettes

A shop worker was grabbed by the throat and forced to the ground during a robbery in east Belfast.

It happened on Tuesday night, with a report made to police just after 22:00 BST that two men wearing masks and gloves entered a shop on Gilnahirk Road.

A second staff member who attempted to raise the alarm was threatened with a hammer.

The suspects ran from the store with money and cigarettes.

"This must have been a frightening and distressing ordeal for the staff members who, while not physically injured, have been left badly shaken," said Det Sgt Dave Stewart.

"The first suspect is described as 6ft (1.8m) tall and of medium build.

"He is reported to have worn a mask over his mouth and eyes, a dark-coloured hoodie with the hood up and dark Adidas bottoms with three stripes down the side."

The second suspect is described as having a smaller and slimmer build.

He is reportedly in his mid-forties and was wearing a dark hooded top with the hood up.

Police said the man was wearing a mask with horizontal stripes and dark Adidas tracksuit bottoms with stripes out the outside of the legs below the knee.

Mr Stewart urged anyone who has information about the incident or who saw men matching the description of the suspects to contact police.

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