Armed Robbers attack Eyemouth jewellers

POLICE have made a renewed appeal for information following an armed robbery which stunned the people of Eyemouth last week.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 28th July 2010, 3:04 pm

Three men made their way into Chapel Antiques in the town's High Street at around 9.40am on Thursday, July 22, dressed in boiler suits and balaclavas and armed with a knife and a hammer.

They threatened the owners before making off with a number of watches.

One of the robbers drove away from the scene in a red Vauxhall Astra, which was later found abandoned, leaving the others to flee on foot and be chased by some local men who quickly realised what had happened.

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Unfortunately, none of the robbers have yet been caught, with one last seen heading for Coldingham Road and the other in the direction of Netherbyres.

Owners of Chapel Antiques, Simon and Deborah Rutherford, had been serving customers just a few minutes prior to the robbery and were in the back of the shop when the three men entered.

Speaking to the 'The Berwickshire News' earlier this week, Simon said that although he was surprised by the incident it didn't come as a complete shock due to the nature of the couple's business.

He commented: "Sadly you do kind of expect this thing to happen at some point, especially with our type of business.

"We sell a lot of jewellery but fortunately the watches that the robbers made off with were all pretty worthless.

"Myself and Deborah were in the back of the shop when the men entered. We were first made aware of them by the buzzer that sounds when anyone enters the shop but then when we looked to the CCTV screen and saw the boiler suits and balaclavas we knew they weren't here to buy anything!

"We were taken aback but we made a lot of commotion and didn't act scared. There was no way we were going to let them walk in and take everything.

"The fact that some local lads chased after them shows just what a strong community we've got in the town, as does the support we've had since the robbery.

"I'm just glad that Deborah and I were unhurt and we didn't lose anything valuable."

While others may have been frightened to chase after two armed robbers, the two Eyemouth men who did just that told 'The Berwickshire' it was an instinctive thing to do.

One said: "I just heard this woman screaming. A few of us were in Costcutters and went outside to see what was going on.

"I saw two guys running past, one had a hammer and was carrying a bag. They were both wearing boiler suits and balaclavas."

The other man said: "This woman had stopped her car on the pavement and was cleaning seagull muck off her windscreen when one of the robbers tried to snatch her keys off her.

"We shouted at him so he ran on and we gave chase all the way down Church Street to the car park but lost sight of him near the harbour.

"It was just an automatic reaction to go after them.

"The street was quite quiet when it happened; there were some elderly people walking around and people on their way to work.

"I think one woman thought we were in with the robbers when she saw us chasing after them. But she came back afterwards and apologised."

Understandably the incident quickly became a major talking point on the High Street and news quickly flooded to other parts of the town and further afield.

And for shopkeepers it was quite an unsettling experience to say the least.

An employee at Eyemouth General Store said: "I heard the alarms going off and then two guys running past, one with a bag.

"We've never had anything like it before and it's actually very scary.

"Shopkeepers here aren't used to this kind of thing and it makes you sort of wary, especially now when there are a lot of unfamiliar faces in the town with people on holiday etc.

"There's been quite a bit going on recently; there was a break in at the Co-op the weekend before. Nobody knows who the robbers were or if they were local or not.

"People who've been coming in haven't stopped talking about it - you just don't expect that type of thing here, especially at 9.30 in the morning."

A team of detectives from Lothian and Borders Police are working on the case, and they are appealing for any information that can assist them track down the suspects.

One of the men is described as being 6ft tall with a heavy build, while the other two are both described as being 5ft 10ins tall, and slim.

A police spokesperson said: "We are delighted with the response we have had from local people about this crime, however, we remain keen for any new information that can help our inquiries.

"In particular, we want to speak to a young female and her brother who were in the area of Victoria Road and Coldingham Road after the robbery occurred, who may have seen the suspects in the area.

"We have now recovered some of the goods that were stolen, along with other articles of interest, and we are still following a positive line of inquiry.

"Anyone who has any information that they think can help us should get in touch as soon as possible."

Anyone with any information should contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or Crimestoppers in confidence and complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.