Knife raid at betting shop

William Hill on the corner of Waterloo Road and Lytham Road in South Shore
William Hill on the corner of Waterloo Road and Lytham Road in South Shore
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A BETTING shop worker was held up at knifepoint as he emptied a gaming machine in the store.

The terrifying attack happened at William Hill on the corner of Waterloo Road and Lytham Road at just after 8pm on Wednesday.

Police believe the masked raider may have loitered outside the store for around 40 seconds before ducking inside and pointing the four-inch blade at the male attendant while telling him to hand over the cash.

Det Sgt Paddy Dowling, leading the investigation for Blackpool CID, said: “This was a harrowing experience for the member of staff.

“The shop was relatively quiet and the offender came in and told him he intended to take the money.

“He’s then pulled out the knife to back up this threat.

“The worker has backed away to a safe distance and the offender has fled the store with an undisclosed sum of money.”

Since the attack, police have been studying local CCTV footage and think the assailant may have approached from Lytham Road and passed in front of the Hampsons bakery store.

After fleeing the store, the raider has made his way down Waterloo Road towards the Promenade before turning into Hill Street.

The knife has not yet been recovered.

Det Sgt Dowling added: “William Hill has a policy of offering substantial rewards to anyone who offers information which leads to the arrest or conviction of anyone involved in a robbery on their premises.

“Along with the rest of the money, he took around £60 worth of coins, probably mainly £1 and £2 coins, so may have been seen trying to get rid of those.”

He was described as white, around 6ft tall, wearing a Russian-style hat with ear muffs and a scarf pulled over his face.

He had on a dark jacket, possibly with a drawstring at the waist and light coloured trousers or jeans.

Bill South, head of security for William Hill, said: “Through the Association of British Bookmakers we offer up to a £10,000 reward for information and we also offer rewards through Crimestoppers if people are concerned about identifying themselves.

“We work very closely with the police and give them every assistance we can to help them catch those responsible.

“The safety of our staff and customers is the most important thing to us.

“We invest heavily in on site security including state-of-the-art CCTV systems.”

Anyone with information can contact Blackpool Police on (01253) 293933 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.