Six bandits with machine-guns, pistols and shotguns robbed about 20 Melbourne bookmakers of 1.4 million Australian dollars (930,000 pounds sterling) on Wednesday (21 April) in Australia's biggest armed holdup.
Six bandits with machine-guns, pistols and shotguns robbed about 20 Melbourne bookmakers of 1.4 million Australian dollars (930,000 pounds sterling) on Wednesday (21 April) in Australia's biggest armed holdup. They then escaped, apparently without trace.
The bandits, wearing black balaclavas, raided the second floor of the Victorian Club as the bookmakers were settling debts from three city race meetings held over the Eastern weekend.
One club patron was hit on the head by a bandit wielding a shotgun but was not seriously hurt. The robbers threatened to shoot anyone who moved as they hurried among the bookmakers, grabbing large quantities of bank notes.
After cutting through a security cage with wire cutters, they herded three office girls into a corner and told the men in the room to remain motionless or one of the girls would "end up dead".
Melbourne's Assistant Crime Commissioner Graeme Davidson told a news conference he had no idea how the bandits made their getaway. But he said police were following up a report that some men were seen getting into a white van outside the club at the time of the raid.
After the 11-minute commando-style raid, police sealed exists from the city and patrolled the streets with loudspeaker appealing to the public for information.
Bookmaker Alf King told newsmen, "The robbers came in and threw a chair on the floor to make a noise and create attention. They told us to get into the billiard room and we would not get hurt. We were forced to lie on the floor and told not to move."