| 15.4°C Dublin

Armed raider who terrified hotel woman

THIS is the man suspected of threatening a terrified woman with a screwdriver just moments after burgling a seaside hotel.

Gardai in Arklow, Co Wicklow, are hunting the male individual after he raided the Arklow Bay Hotel in broad daylight before attempting to flee the scene.

The Herald has learned that a female worker who tried to apprehend the thief was threatened with a screwdriver.

When she approached the man, he turned to her and screamed: "If you don't want this, don't come any further."

The woman, who works in the hotel's leisure centre, was left "extremely shaken" after the ordeal.



Cowardly

Our CCTV footage shows the man just minutes before the terrifying ordeal unfolded.

The Herald understands that the man entered the hotel shortly after 1pm last Tuesday and enquired about prices to use the centre's facilities.

Gardai are extremely keen to speak to the man and are appealing for information.

Speaking to the Herald, the hotel manager Brian Brennan said his staff member was victim of a "cowardly act".

"We are very hopeful that this man, who didn't have a local accent, can be caught by gardai. It was a threatening and cowardly act against our member of staff who acted very professionally as well as showing great courage," he said.

CCTV footage captured him entering a room off the lobby before leaving minutes later.

He is believed to have fled with a "substantial" sum of cash.

Staff observed the man, who is believed to be in his thirties, exit the room and attempt to flee the hotel.

However one brave employee pursued the thief on foot when he is believed to have brandished a screwdriver in her face.

The man fled through the town and entered a local clothes shop where he changed his clothes before allegedly leaving the area.

"It is a terrifying ordeal for the woman. She was extremely courageous to chase him but she had no idea he was armed with a weapon," a source explained.



Shaken

"She's a popular and well-liked girl and was just trying to get the money back. It's a horrifying thing to happen and she was left very shaken," the source added.

The man is described as being in his 30s and is about 5ft 4ins tall. He has dark, ruffled hair and was wearing light- coloured slacks and a leather jacket.

Local Fianna Fail councillor Tommy Annesley told the Herald that the incident was one of a spate that have occurred in recent weeks in the town.

"The whole community is in shock. For this to happen in broad daylight is so worrying. It's one of a spate of incidents to hit the town in recent week. People are living in fear," he said.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the gardai in Arklow on 0402-32304.

hnews@herald.ie


Privacy