Exclusive: Maghera service station owner shares her story on armed robbery

Police are appealing for information.
Police are appealing for information.

A member of the family that owns a Maghera service station targeted in a reported armed robbery on Tuesday night has spoken out about their staff’s ordeal.

Three masked men with guns are understood to have threatened three staff at Heaney’s service station before making off with a substantial amount of money at around 9pm on January 20.

No one was hurt in the incident which is believed to have lasted for around ten minutes, and although “OK”, Seainin Heaney said it will take staff a while to get over the trauma.

“They just came in and asked for money - they were armed with guns. They just said put your hands up and give me the money,” she told the Mail.

“Nobody was hurt, but they are all very took back by it all... they’ll not just get over it straight away.”

Although not allowed to reveal exactly how much was taken in the robbery, Ms Heaney said it was a large amount of money.

It is also thought that the robbers, who “had balaclavas and gloves and all on” and were dressed in “hoodies and trackies” were not local men.

“We think they’re [from] Belfast,” Ms Heaney said, “but we’re not 100% sure.

“They were tall and thin, but bulky.

“I don’t think they were professional at all - just these three random young chaps looking for money.

“They pulled up in the clinic beside the shop and climbed over the hedge beside the car wash and walked in,” she added.

“It [the shop] was empty at the time. They just told them to stand back and put their hands up.

“They weren’t slow, but they were not fast - they were in between.”

Magherafelt police are understood to have taken away CCTV footage of the incident, but are also appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Inspector Jon Burrows said: “Three masked and armed men were reported to have entered the premises at around 9pm and threatened staff members.

“A sum of cash was handed over and it is believed the men made off in a blue coloured car.

“There were no reports of any injuries but staff members were left badly shaken.

“I would appeal for anyone with any information to contact police in Magherafelt on 101.”