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Grimley’s boss tells of ordeal

By Ciara Quinn

THE Director of Noel Grimley Electrics says the callous actions of thieves who robbed his premises on Monday will not deter him or staff from continuing the business which has served the West Belfast community for 50 years.

Speaking to the Andersonstown News, Eamonn Grimley said he and other staff are still “pretty shaken up” after their ordeal which saw a masked gang take a “substantial amount” of TVs, electronic tablets and cash from the popular Andersonstown electrical superstore.

It is understood four masked men approached a staff member as he was opening up the store at its Riverdale back entrance on Monday morning around 7.15am.

They threatened him with what is believed to have been a sawn-off shotgun before tying his hands behind his back and placing a hood over his head. He was then forced into a store room.

Eamonn said that when he arrived at the business shortly after 8am he too was grabbed and tied up along with the other staff member.

“Whoever did this had been watching the store,” he said. “The men were masked and gave orders to each other. They bundled us into our main store room and we heard a van arriving, they then locked us in another room before driving off. A substantial amount of TVs, tablets and cash was taken,” he said. “We are pretty shaken up, but are just glad that no-one was injured.”

Eamonn spoke of how the local community response since the ordeal occurred has been “fantastic”.

“The support we have received has been fantastic. Local political represent-atives have come in to show their support along with our customers.

“We’ve been here 50 years, I need a job, you can’t afford not to be here, you have to keep going.”

Eamonn said CCTV footage from Monday morning has been handed over to the PSNI.

“All the staff have been briefed to be extra-vigilant from here on in, but as I said before, we are just thankful no-one was seriously hurt.”

“The armed robbery of Noel Grimley Electrics by four masked men was a frightening and terrifying experience,” said SDLP Councillor Tim Attwood. “The Grimley family have provided excellent service to our community for over 50 years and all our thoughts are with the staff who were left badly shaken. It is vital that these brutal thugs are brought to justice.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Matt Garrett said the local community are shocked and angry at the robbery.

“This is a well known local business that has been on the Andersonstown Road for decades,” he said. “Many people are shocked and angry that it has been targeted in this way. Our thoughts are with the staff who have been left shaken by this ordeal.

“I would urge anyone who may have seen anything suspicious to give that information to the PSNI.”

Detective Inspector Jenna Fitzpatrick said she would appeal to anyone who may have noticed any vehicles or persons acting suspiciously in the area between 7am and 9am to contact detectives at Woodbourne on the non-emergency number 101.

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