Armed robber threatens staff in raid at Leicester bookies
An armed robber threatened betting shop staff and escaped with cash yesterday.
The man walked into the Ladbrokes branch in Gipsy Lane, Leicester, at 1.40pm.
Police said he brandished a weapon at staff behind a counter and ordered them to hand over a bag of cash. It is understood members of the public were inside the shop at the time.
The man took the money and headed towards nearby Barkby Road.
Police said no-one was injured in the incident. They have not revealed what weapon the man was carrying.
However, businesses and residents said they had heard the man was armed with a gun.
A member of Ladbrokes regional staff who was visiting the shop yesterday afternoon said the firm had handed CCTV footage to police.
The member of staff, who asked not to be named, said: "I have not seen the CCTV, but I believe he was in and out quite quickly.
"The main thing is, nobody was injured and the staff are fine – although they were obviously shaken up."
Detectives have visited neighbouring shops and retrieved footage from CCTV cameras which look out on to the area in front of the parade of shops.
Anand Gandhi, owner of the neighbouring Bargain Booze shop, said: "People are saying this man had a gun, which is very shocking.
"Some of the women in the shops were saying they were very scared when they heard there had been an armed robbery at the betting shop.
"This a busy parade of shops in a good residential area. I've been here for seven years now and I've never known anything like this to happen."
Ladbrokes has a second shop several doors along the parade of shops. A customer said: "They are good people who work at Ladbrokes and I hate the idea of someone threatening them with any kind of weapon."
Ratilal Govind, chairman of the Belgrave United Neighbourhood Watch, said: "It is very upsetting to hear a firearm might have been involved.
"We have had shops robbed in this area in the past, but I have never known of cases where a firearm was used.
"If it was real that would be unique as far as I know – and I have lived in this area for more than 40 years."
Detective Sergeant Simon Head said: "Investigations are in their early stages.
"I would like to appeal for anyone who was in the area at about 1.40pm and saw a man in dark clothing to come forward and speak to police.
"Gipsy Lane is usually fairly busy throughout the day. Maybe you were passing and saw someone acting suspiciously? You may not have thought anything of it at the time, but it could be vital to our investigation."
Contact Leicestershire police on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.