Police hunt Kundabung robbers

KEMPSEY police are on the lookout for a stolen car used in an early morning armed robbery at Kundabung’s general store.

A green Holden Commodore, reported stolen on Thursday, was driven away after its three male occupants tried to hold up the store’s owner as he sorted the mail about 5.30am last Friday.

Calm thinking by the store owner Frank Elphik and the intervention of a security guard ended with the offenders taking only a wallet, a mobile phone and cigarettes from behind the counter.

Mr Elphik told The Argus he had been approached by three men, two wielding knives, the other carrying a sledgehammer.

“They threatened me, and the on-site security guard – he lives out the back – heard the commotion and came out,” he said.

“There was a bit of a scuffle. I told them I was a mail contractor and in the end they left me alone, went about their business and got into the stolen car.”

Mr Elphik said he had remained calm throughout the ordeal and the offenders had dropped the store’s CCTV box as they fled.

He believes the robbery was carried out by opportunists, rather than it being a planned attack.

“I think they saw the light I have on when I start of a morning,” he said.

“It was a bit of bad luck on my part.”

It had been the first incident in the 23 years of his ownership of the service station, store and post office outlet, Mr Elphik said.

He had recognised the car as one that someone he knew had sold six weeks earlier, he added.

Kempsey police Inspector Mick Aldridge said yesterday the vehicle had been reported stolen the day before the robbery and had not yet been recovered. Its NSW registration plate reads SGM 938.

Officers operating as part of Strike Force Mehi, which has been investigating recent armed robberies, attended the scene.

They are looking for three males in their late-teens to early-20s, around 1.75m tall, of thin build, with Aboriginal appearance. All were said to be wearing dark hooded tops, with scarfs over their faces.

Anyone who knows the whereabouts of the vehicle, or who has information likely to be of use to the police is asked to call the Kempsey station on 6561 6199, or Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000.

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