Employee runs from robbers
A HOTEL worker told police he escaped a gang of armed robbers who confronted him at the Moonee Beach Tavern by hiding alongside the Pacific Highway after they chased him.
Police said the 23-year-old’s ordeal began when three men wielding an axe, screwdriver and tree branch approached him as he closed the popular pub.
Forced into the poker machine room, the employee was told to hand over the keys to gaming machines and the hotel’s safe.
He told police he was able to flee and ran out the front door of the hotel onto the Pacific Highway.
Chased by two of the men, he hid in a nearby roadworks site. As he attempted to run to a nearby house, he said the men chased him to the highway intersection with Hoys Rd.
There he was able to again hide, this time in bushes and eventually elude the armed offenders.
A short time later the employee raised the alarm by phoning police from a nearby farmhouse.
Police said a sum of cash had been stolen during the Investigators are keen to hear from anyone who was in the vicinity of the Pacific Highway and Hoys Rd on Thursday about 11.45pm.
Hotel staff say the employee has been left shaken by the incident.
There are concerns this latest armed robbery bares striking similarities to several hold-ups at Coffs Coast clubs in the past 18 months, when staff at licensed premises have been held-up by armed attackers as they have closed up for the night.
Those armed robberies in Coffs Harbour and the Nambucca Valley have involved offenders carrying tomahawks, knives, screwdrivers and tree branches, however police are yet to say whether the incidents are linked.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Coffs Harbour police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.