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.
SV PAN INTERIOR Police in room
CU Broken padlocks
SV PAN Strong-boxes
CU Telephones on table
CU Empty strong-boxes PAN TO Office (3 shots)
CU Bookmaker Alf King interviewed in street
SV Police car outside appealing for witnesses
"It was at five past twelve as the Mayne Nickless truck carrying the one million three hundred and forty thousand dollars arrived here outside the Victorian Club in Queen Street, Melbourne. Already on the second floor in the settling room there were nearly 20 bookmakers. It's the second biggest settling day of the Victorian racing year. Two armed guards took the money in steel boxes up the lift to the second floor and they just got it into the fenced-in cash area when the six bandits burst in through the rear entrance. The bandits had already immobilised the lift and the first thing they did was to tear out the telephone. Two of them were wielding sub-machine guns, two had shotguns and the other two had pistols. They disarmed the Mayne Nickless guards and told everybody to lay face-down on the floor."
BOOKMAKER ALF KING ANSWERING REPORTERS' QUESTIONS:
"What were they armed with, the ones you saw?"
"They said machine-guns and I took their word for it."
"What did they say to you?"
"Line up and you won't get hurt."
"What did you do?"
"I got on the floor."
"Ladies and gentlemen, any person seeing a number of persons leaving the premises at 141 Queen Street at about 12.15 p.m. today, please contact the police."
Initials BB/2025 CL/2115
This film is serviced with a commentary by ABC reporter Ralphe Neill, a statement by bookmaker Alf King and a public appeal by the police on a loudspeaker. Transcript appear overleaf.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: 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."