Police seek armed robber
A GYMPIE family could only watch and listen as local store owner Avraam Savvas was held up at the Crescent Road Groceries and Food Express on Thursday night.
Mr Savvas the owner of the store was talking to his wife and children on Skype and didn’t notice the armed offender enter the store about 7.45pm.
The man, who was wearing a balaclava, approached the counter and threw a bag down, while asking for the money from the till and pointing a gun at the shop keeper.
“I thought you’ve gotta be joking,” Mr Savvas said.
Mr Savvas opened the till and placed the money on the counter.
The robber was distracted, complaining about the small sum and that is when Mr Savvas got the confidence to grab him and struggled to get the gun.
“I wanted to get his firearm; I wanted to know if it was real or not. It looked real,” he said.
In the struggle Mr Savvas cut his finger.
He said the firearm looked like a large handgun.
Today he opened the store as usual but was a little more cautious.
He is not seeking counselling after the hold-up but said he was more worried about his family working at the small family-run business, especially his daughter who sometimes worked at night.
“If I could I would have jumped the counter. This is our livelihood.”
Mr Savvas said the robbery was a shame and he was disappointed but would be beefing up security.
His family, who with Mr Savvas works seven-days at the store, heard the whole incident and saw the finger wound, knowing something was wrong but after the incident Mr Savvas called the police and wasn’t able to reassure his family until after 11pm.
But yesterday they were all “alright”, he said.
He isn’t sure how the robbery will affect the business as he has never been robbed before.
Now Mr Savvas is calling on more communication between the police, industry and community to make business owners more aware when a crime had been committed so others can be more cautious.
Gympie CIB Detective Sergeant Dion Southey said the offender left with a sum of money and fled across the road and over to sporting fields.
Police spent the night at the Crescent Road shop and are trying to find the offender who was wearing a dark blue coloured zip-up hoodie, a black balaclava and long dark pants.
Detective Sgt Southey said there was no video footage of the offender and police were investigating but so far had no suspects.
“We ask if the public saw the person at the time to come forward, if they haven’t already, or if they have heard anything mentioned about the robbery to contact the station or Crimestoppers,” Sgt Southey said.
Call the Gympie Police Station on 5480 1111 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 if you have any information.