Detectives are appealing for information following a report of an armed robbery at business premises at the Beechmount Avenue area of west Belfast this morning (Thursday 26th November).
Detective Inspector Keith Wilson said: “Shortly before 8:15am, it was reported that two masked men entered a shop in the area.
“One of the men is described as wearing a navy jacket, combat style trousers and armed with a machete.
“The second man is described as wearing a green jacket and armed with a suspected firearm.
“As an ATM machine was being filled in store, the men threatened the staff inside and took a sum of money from the scene and made off in a red coloured Mercedes towards the Kennedy Street area following the incident.
“It is believed the man armed with the firearm discharged the weapon into the air outside the shop.
“The red Mercedes was found burnt out at the Shiels Street area of west Belfast a short time later.
“It is believed the men got out of the red Mercedes and utilised both a Range Rover and a Volvo parked in the area, and then made off towards the Falls Road area following the incident.
“The Volvo was later found at the Lenadoon Avenue area and the Land Rover was found at the Bingnian Drive area of west Belfast later in the morning.
“The reckless actions of firing a weapon in a shop at a busy time of the morning, could have resulted in severe consequences as there were members of the public, including young school children in the area who have been exposed to such activity and could have been seriously injured or worse.
“We would like to thank those who have come forward with information, which has been invaluable to our investigation.
“Enquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident, but police would appeal to anyone with any information to contact them on 101, quoting reference number 242 26/11/20. A report can be made using the online reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport.
“Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org .”