A raider armed with a knife made off with cash from a well-known shop and petrol station in Buncrana last night.
A man entered Cullen’s shop at Cockhill at around 7.45pm. He brandished a knife and threatened the shop owner’s son, then fled with a sum of cash.
Cllr. Rena Donaghey, a long-time resident of Cockhill who only recently moved from the area, said the local community was “totally shocked” by the incident.
She told the Donegal Democrat: “There were a few arrests following the recent spate of burglaries and everyone thought there was a kind of lull. The whole community is totally shocked. Cullen’s is a family run business that has been there for years and years. The family are the most obliging people and are very, very popular.
“The shop is always very busy and it’s quite unusual that there would be no other customers in it. Whoever did this must have waited until it was empty. “They were also pretty brazen because Mass would have been finished just a few minutes later and the shop would have been packed.
“To steal someone’s takings at a time when businesses are struggling to keep going and to use a knife is disgraceful.
“I would ask anyone who has even the slightest shred of information to get in touch with the gardaí. It’s vital that whoever did this is apprehended and brought to justice as soon as possible because, if they’re not, they’ll do it again.”
Garda Supt. Eugene McGovern gave the following description of the suspect.
“He was between 5’10” and 6’ tall, wearing a long dark jacket with the hood pulled up, a scarf around his face, heavy gloves, jeans and dark shoes and we believe he had alcohol consumed.”
Supt. McGovern added: “We believe he stood outside or near the premises to wait until the shop was empty. Once in the premises, he brandished a 10” domestic kitchen knife and demanded cash. He went behind the counter and emptied cash into a paper potato bag, a 20kg Doherty’s bag, rolled it up and was carrying it under his left arm when he left the shop.
“We think he made his escape on foot through a field behind the shop. The field was quite muddy and he would have mud on his clothes and shoes.
“The Westbrook bridge was closed yesterday, so all the traffic was coming down Clonbeg and passing the shop. There would also have been a lot of people out walking and people coming out of Mass. For these reasons, it is very likely that someone noticed him.
“We are asking anyone with information to ring us in Buncrana on 074 932 0540.”