Knife raid horror

CCTV footage from the Betfred robbery
CCTV footage from the Betfred robbery

A MACHETE-wielding robber targeted a St Helens bookmakers in a terrifying early evening raid.

The thug vaulted the counter at the Betfred shop in Dane Court, Rainhill, before grabbing bank notes from one of the tills and escaping in the direction of Weaver Avenue.

The incident occurred at about 7pm on Thursday, August 23, while the 29-year-old female manager was working behind the counter and her 27-year-old colleague was tidying the customer area.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt during the robbery and no threats were made.

Several customers were in the betting shop at the time of the robbery though and witnesses have described the offender as being white, aged between 20 and 25, around 5ft 5ins tall and of slim build.

He was wearing a black jacket with the zipped-up peaked hood and black tracksuit bottoms.

It is believed he was wearing a scarf or balaclava to cover his face during the robbery but may have removed it as he fled the scene.

A witness has described him as having short, fair hair and a “fresh face”.

Detectives are appealing for any passers-by or motorists who were in the area and may have seen the offender running away to contact them.

They are particularly keen to trace a man seen in Dane Court immediately after the robbery who is described as being taller than the offender and who may have information important to the investigation.

DC Roy Waller, of St Helens CID, said: “This was an awful incident for the staff and their customers to witness. A masked man has gone in armed with a large, curved knife and helped himself to a significant amount of cash from one of the tills. The manager and her colleague have been left terrified, although thankfully they were not hurt.

“We are pursuing several lines of inquiry and I would appeal to anyone who was in or near Dane Court last Thursday night at 7pm who saw anyone acting suspiciously to please call us.

“We cannot discount that this offender may have been working with a second person so I would urge residents and motorists passing by Betfred to think back in case they can remember anything significant which could help us catch them.”

Witnesses can call St Helens CID on 0151 777 6842 or Crimestoppers, in confidence on 0800 555 111.