South Grafton Ex-Servicemen’s Club president Dave Savins, left, and South Grafton RSL Sub Branch president Laurie O’Shea outside the club yesterday.
South Grafton Ex-Servicemen’s Club president Dave Savins, left, and South Grafton RSL Sub Branch president Laurie O’Shea outside the club yesterday.

Gun, knives used in club robbery

TWO female South Grafton Ex-Servicemen’s Club bar staff have been left traumatised after being held up at gun point by three balaclava-clad men on Friday night.

One woman was grabbed by the hair, thrown to the ground and a knife held to her throat, a source at the club said yesterday.

Club president Dave Savins said the violent robbery occurred just before midnight on Friday when the men, armed with a gun and knives, entered the club through a riverside door where musicians were loading their gear into a van.

The men forced two female staff members into a cash room where they stole a substantial sum of money before fleeing in an unknown direction. There were no partons left in the club at the time of the robbery and no-one was physically injured.

Mr Savins said the thieves were ‘covered from head to foot in dark clothing’, including balaclavas, gloves and hoods.

Police confirmed last night they were examining the club’s CCTV footage.

Police from Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command attended the club a short time after the incident, where a crime scene was established and investigated by specialist officers.

Investigations into the incident were continuing and police urge anyone with information to contact Coffs/Clarence Police via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Mr Savins, who issued a statement to his members about the incident (below), said the robbery had shocked the club’s close-knit staff and members.

“We are a family-orientated club and we don’t want this to deter people from thinking of it that way,” Mr Savins said.

He said the staff members were not physically hurt in the incident, but were understandably traumatised.

“The money’s replaceable ... it’s the mental anguish they’ve caused to these two girls,” Mr Savins said.

Mr Savins said the women had received and would continue to receive counselling following the incident.

He said he believed it was the first armed robbery at the club.

LETTER TO MEMBERS

AS president of South Grafton Ex-Servicemen’s Club, I have to inform you that on the night of Friday, the 4th of December, the club was subject to an armed hold-up.

A substantial amount of money was stolen from the club. Unfortunately during the hold-up, two loyal staff members were seriously assaulted and traumatised.

This action against out club is devastating for all concerned, especially the mostly new directors and senior staff. We strongly condemn the action of these criminals and hope they are quickly apprehended and appropriately brought to justice.

It is the position of club management to strive for a family orientated club providing a safe, friendly environment. We sincerely hope this unfortunate incident does not deter members and guests from visiting our club. Extra security measures have been implemented. We wish the two staff and band members involved in this incident a speedy recovery and await their return.

DAVE SAVINS

South Grafton Ex-Servicemen’s Club president.



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