Morning raid on Armidale Plaza nets cash, shoes

FIVE thousand dollars worth of sports shoes and a quantity of cash were stolen in a brazen early morning robbery involving five shops in the Armidale Plaza yesterday.

New England Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Ann Joy said four offenders had used a stolen car to travel to and from the incident just after 2am on Wednesday.

“It appears the offenders entered via a rear laneway in Jessie St at the back of the plaza and jemmied open the doors to five stores,” Detective Inspector Joy said.

“Three were involved in the robbery and one drove the car.”

An amount of cash was stolen from three stores, including Irresistible Styles Lingerie and women’s clothing store Autograph, but The Athlete’s Foot also had a large quantity of merchandise taken.

Elly’s Coffee was also broken into but nothing stolen and the other store was vacant.

Detective Inspector Joy said the public should be on the lookout for anyone offering the high-end brand sports shoes for sale at a discounted rate.

“A quantity of Asics and Nike shoes were stolen during the break-in to The Athlete’s Foot store,” Detective Inspector Ann Joy said.

The car used in the robbery, a silver VN Holden Commodore, was reported stolen on December 23 last year and police believe someone may have seen the vehicle due to a rear missing bumper bar.

“Someone may have noticed the vehicle during the period after December 23 and yesterday’s robbery,” Detective Inspector Joy said.

The vehicle was recovered in Claude St yesterday.

Armidale Plaza centre manager Judy Brown said the incident was disappointing and had caused a lot of damage to the store’s infrastructure. 

“Fortunately the stores involved had done their banking so the thieves didn’t get away with a lot of cash,” Mrs Brown said.

CCTV footage has revealed the offenders’ clothing.

One was reported to be wearing a white, hooded jumper, one offender was wearing white shorts, a black jumper and and white shoes, while another was wearing a jumper.

Detective Inspector Joy said police were seeking witnesses to the incident or anyone who may have seen the Commodore after it was reported stolen. 

Anyone with information should contact Armidale Police Station or CrimeStoppers.

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