Knife wielding robbers strike Yarmouth store
PUBLISHED: 13:01 05 November 2010
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2010
A TERRIFIED lettings agency employee was threatened by robbers who held her up at knifepoint in her Great Yarmouth office this week.
The female staff member at Howards Residential Lettings was threatened by the hooded men who walked into the Hall Plain office on Tuesday afternoon and stole £2,000 from the safe.
The employee, who was on her own in the front office, bravely returned to work on Wednesday.
Sam Curtis, head of sales and marketing manager at Howards, said: “She is coping very well. She has been given the full back-up from the police and Howards. It is something that we as a company take very seriously.
“She is obviously very shaken up by what happened, but she decided to go back to the office to face her demons.
“The police have been fantastic. They have offered her support and counselling.” She added the robbers threatened the staff member, but were not particularly aggressive and did not attack her.
The employee did cry for help to other staff in back offices at the large building, close to Yarmouth Town Hall, but her calls went unheard.
As well as the lettings agents, Howards also has an estate agents in Regent Road, though no money is kept at this site.
However, Ms Curtis said customers did pay money in from time to time at the Hall Plain branch and the robbers may have been aware of this at the time of the incident.
But she admitted it was rare for an estate agents to be robbed.
“It is very unusual for an estate agents to be targeted. We don’t know if it was a one-off or whether they had been watching the estate agents,” she added.
Det Con Matt Jenkins, of Yarmouth police, said the raid was unlikely to have been a random attack as it appeared to have been timed to coincide with the employees’ lunch hour when there were few staff in the office.
He added the robbers may have visited the lettings agency before as they knew where the safe was and struck at a time when it was full of cash.
Police scenes-of-crime officers and a sniffer dog sealed off the area. The focus of the investigation is now on a silver or grey Audi A4 saloon car believed to have been used by the robbers, which had been parked behind the office in Howard Street South.
Det Con Jenkins said police were checking CCTV footage from cameras on Haven Bridge and the Town Hall for evidence of the car. The two robbers are described as white, about 5ft 9in, of slim build and possibly in their early 20s.
Both concealed their faces with what are thought to have been balaclavas, and the man carrying the knife was wearing a black glove. One of the robbers was wearing jeans and white trainers.