Masked gang caught on CCTV raiding Halsall Pharmacy
THE manager of Halsall Pharmacy has thanked her staff and customers for rallying round after masked raiders mounted a shocking burglary.
The three-man gang used a sledgehammer to smash their way through a plate glass window at the front of the shop.
The thieves, who were caught on CCTV, then attempted to smash a secure drugs safe off the wall with their lump hammer, although they were unable to do so.
One of the men was caught on camera swinging the hammer violently at the safe, and a second man appeared to be filming the burglary on his mobile phone.
After rifling through shelves and drawers one of the men grabbed the till which had a small amount of cash in it.
The three men initially approached the pharmacy from nearby playing fields rather than the path, possibly to avoid the CCTV cameras. Their appearance, tools and movement suggested they were organised criminals.
Pharmacy manager Alison Moody raced to the scene after receiving a message on her mobile phone, which was linked to the alarm, telling her the shop had been broken in to.
Although the staff were appalled by the scene of devastation, they opened up as usual the following morning and served customers.
Alison said: “We were all shocked by the footage, and remain a little shaken by it. I am just thankful that my staff were not inside the pharmacy at the time.
“Yes, we opened up the next day despite the broken glass. A section of the shop was a crime scene, so we cordoned that off and served from the door.
“I would also like to thank our customers, who were really supportive. Some of them even came down with chocolates and cakes for us when they heard about the burglary.
“Since the post office closed we have become an important hub in the village. We deliver medicine across Halsall, and many of our customers are elderly.
“A mobile post office comes twice a week, and so the pharmacy plays an important role in the community. We are a bit of a one-stop shop now, and many of our customers enjoy speaking to the staff and bumping in to their friends
“The gang seemed to be aware of our CCTV cameras. The came across the fields to reduce their exposure, although there seemed to be a car parked at the bottom of the drive. I am not sure if they were looking for drugs or money.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary confirmed a burglary took place at the pharmacy on August 22 at around 7.10pm.
The spokesman said that the gang used a hammer to try and steal the drugs safe, and then stole a cash till before escaping.
Call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or Ormskirk CID on 101.