Staff shield pregnant worker as chippy faces two armed robberies in 48 hours

The Hillstop on Upper Cairncastle Road was targeted twice
The Hillstop on Upper Cairncastle Road was targeted twice

A Larne takeaway worker has praised her colleagues’ bravery after they shielded their pregnant co-worker during the second armed robbery at the premises in two days.

Hillstop Chip Shop worker Ann Liddle spoke to the Larne Times after the business was targeted on both Wednesday and Thursday.

During the first incident, which took place at approximately 1.30pm, a man armed with a suspected firearm entered the shop and made off with a sum of cash.

The two staff members were left shaken following the incident, but were not injured.

The second incident occurred at around 4.15pm on Thursday, when three members of staff – one of whom was seven months pregnant – were on duty.

Ann said: “Our staff have been left traumatised, it is unbelievable that this has happened twice in two days.

“We have had to close the shop for the girls’ safety, and so they can recuperate.

“In the first incident, the man came in the side door and demanded money, then he got it out of the till and he was holding a gun.

“In the second incident, he jumped over the counter. There were three girls on duty, one of them seven months’ pregnant, and he told them to open it or he would ‘pop them in the face: one, two, three’.

“He held the gun to their faces and the other two girls stepped in front of the pregnant girl to protect her.

“They were so brave, they shielded the girl who was pregnant and I can’t praise them enough.”

The chip shop opened on the Upper Cairncastle Road 20 years ago, and Ann, who has worked there throughout that time, said it is the first time something like this has happened.

“We are a small business, in a row of small shops, and we are here to serve the community,” she added.

“We would have elderly people coming in here, people on their own who rely on us, and we have had to close our business.

“The girls who were working on Wednesday night were different to those working on Thursday, so in total five girls were affected by this incident.”