A pub landlord has spoken of the moment a gun was pointed in his face when two masked men burst in demanding money.
Mark Allen was forced to hand over the contents of his till in the incident at The Three Horse Shoes in Whissendine before the raiders made off.
Mr Allen (52) was not harmed and, fortunately, it was a quiet period when the robbery took place with no drinkers inside the premises at the time.
He recalled: “I was putting some glasses away and heard the door open and these two men appeared with their faces covered.
“One of them pointed a handgun at me and shouted ‘give me the till’. I said ‘you’re having a laugh aren’t you’ because I expected them to pull their hoods off and say it was just a joke.
“I soon realised they weren’t messing around so I got the money from the till and they tipped it into a holdall.
“They wanted money from the safe as well but I told them I had already banked the takings. They left and the guy with the gun walked backwards towards the door still pointing the gun at me.
“As soon as they had gone I shot around the bar and put the bolts on - I didn’t hear a car start up as they got away.”
Armed police arrived quickly at the Main Street premises after Mr Allen had raised the alarm, just after 9.30pm on Wednesday. His 59-year-old wife, Janet, was not at the pub during the robbery - she returned later that evening after being at work.
The pub was sealed off for forensic investigations and was not re-opened until the following evening.
Mr Allen, a former military policeman, said he was shocked by the robbery but added: “It takes more than a gun to frighten me.
“I have had great support from people in the village. My regulars are gobsmacked because there is never any crime in Whissendine.”
Anthony and Judith Tullett, who live near the pub, were amazed by the police activity because they said Whissendine was normally a peaceful village.
Mrs Tullett said: “I had just taken the dog for a walk and suddenly all these cars arrived. There were armed police and a dog unit. We are not used to seeing this sort of thing in the village.”
Police have appealed for witnesses to contact them about the incident. The suspects, who got away with £161 from the till, wore face coverings and both were about 5’10” tall. They were of medium build and both had distinctive bright blue eyes.
Detective Constable 1625 Conroy Crowe is investigating the incident, he said: “We are in the initial stages of the investigation and in the process of carrying out enquiries locally including visiting local residents.
“We would urge anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area around 9.30pm yesterday to contact us. Even if you didn’t see anything but were in the area at that time we would like to speak to you.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Constable Crowe on 101, leave a message for the officer and when prompted key in his badge number 1625. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous, on 0800 555 111.