‘England’ robber holds up Preston bookies

HORROR: Thug points 'gun' at two employees at Betfred, Blackpool Road, Ribbleton, Preston
HORROR: Thug points 'gun' at two employees at Betfred, Blackpool Road, Ribbleton, Preston
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This is the moment a bizarrely dressed robber holds up a betting shop at gunpoint.

A man hunt has been launched for the criminal, who was dressed in an England cap decorated with badges, and was using an England scarf to cover his face.

The man burst into the Betfred shop on Blackpool Road in Ribbleton, Preston, at around 5.15pm on Monday.

He threatened two men in their 20s, who were working in the bookies, by holding up a bag and saying he had a gun inside it.

He then pointed the bag directly at them as he stood at the counter.

The frightened staff told him the takings were in a locked safe.

The incident was captured on the store’s CCTV system, and today police have released images in a bid to identify the robber.

The man, who also wore a light grey hoodie with a number 3 emblem on the back, then demanded cash from the till and managed to steal some money.

He made his getaway with an undisclosed amount, and was seen running away towards nearby Robin Street.

Det Insp Keith Lee, of Preston Police, said: “ The man was in some kind of disguise and had a Scouse accent.

“This was a frightening experience for the people working in the shop and it smacks of desperation.

“We need to catch this offender before he does it again, or injures someone.

He added: “We are hoping people in the area may recognise the clothing he was wearing.

“The cap was distinctive, with cap badges on it.”

It comes two months after another Betfred betting shop, further up Blackpool Road in Ashton, was robbed.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.