The masked gunman robbed the Beach Bottle Shop at around 10.40am.
The masked gunman robbed the Beach Bottle Shop at around 10.40am. Tweed Daily News

Robber eludes police

A MASKED gunman who robbed a Cabarita Beach bottle shop was still on the run last night.

Police have released a description of the man who yesterday held up the Beach Bottle Shop and threatened a male staff member.

The balaclava-clad man entered the store on the corner of Tweed Coast Road and Pandanus Parade about 10.40am.

He was armed with a small pistol and demanded cash from the attendant.

Two customers were also in the store at the time, but no-one was physically hurt.

While the offender was wearing the balaclava at the time of the robbery, he was seen removing it as he left the store.

He managed to escape with a small sum of money, but no alcohol.

Taking off on foot, the man was last seen heading south on Tweed Coast Road.

The offender is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 19 years old, with a solid build and blonde hair.

He was said to be about 168cm (5ft 6in) in height and was wearing a grey shirt, green board shorts and running shoes.

Police searched the surrounding area for more than an hour after the robbery but the offender could not be found.

Tweed/Byron duty officer Inspector Jim Kain said Forensic Services officers had attended the scene and statements were taken from all three witnesses.

He said police were also reviewing CCTV footage of the incident.

Liquor store manager Duncan Richardson said no staff were hurt in the robbery but one man would be taking time off work as a result.

He said the staff member had been left traumatised and would likely be offered counselling.

The two witnesses, a man and a woman, were seen leaving the store later on, but had been told by police not to talk to the media.

They did, however, say “it all happened very quickly” and that the event had been frightening.

The bottle shop is set away from other businesses in the Cabarita CBD and is located in an otherwise vacant building.

A number of people further down the road at a bus stop said they had not seen or heard anything unusual until the police cars arrived at the scene shortly after the robbery.

Staff at a nearby chemist also knew nothing of what had taken place.

One local couldn't believe something so serious had happened close to home.

“Cabarita Beach, would you believe it?” he said. “And at 11 o'clock in the day; what are they going to get from the till at that time?”

Anyone with information on the robbery should contact Tweed Heads police on (07) 5536 0999 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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