Armed bandit holds up grocery store for smoke fix
POLICE are on the hunt for a brazen armed robber who held an employee at knifepoint before making off with a packet of cigarettes at a Marcoola grocery store.
A worker was opening Marcoola Mini-Mart just before 6.30am yesterday when a man described as being in his late 20s walked in, pulled out a knife and demanded money from the woman.
Store manager Sanjay Vora said the staff member told the thief she did not have any money as he repeatedly demanded that she hand over cash.
When he received no money, the man allegedly began demanding cigarettes from the woman, who handed over one packet.
Mr Vora said the worker was shaken up but doing okay after the incident.
"She got nervous and didn't know what to do," Mr Vora said.
"We took over in October last year and since then we haven't had anything like this, it's the first time.
"He just ended up with the one packet of cigarettes. The only thing I could say is he doesn't appear to be a professional."
The owners of Mini-Mart have begun installing CCTV in the store.
Assistant Police Commissioner for Central Region Mike Condon yesterday warned anyone considering turning to life as an armed robber to reconsider.
"Any crime involving offenders that are armed is a concern and we'll commit the full resources of the Sunshine Coast investigation units to find these people responsible," Asst Comm Condon said.
"People (considering offending) need to be aware that these are serious offences.''
He advised small businesses to take the time to target-proof their premises to help reduce their vulnerability to armed theft.
Maroochydore CIB is seeking anyone with information, or anybody who saw any suspicious behaviour in the area, to get in touch with them on 5475 2429 or contact Crime Stoppers.
The suspect was described as Caucasian in appearance, about 180cm tall with a proportionate build, and aged in his late 20s.
He was wearing dark long pants, a dark hooded zippered jacket, dark gloves, a black baseball type cap and dark sunglasses.