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Casino Robbers Wore Turtle Masks And Santa Hats

24 January 2005

BRISOL, UK -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Police have renewed an appeal for information about armed robbers who wore Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle masks and Santa hats when they held up a casino in Bristol. They made 60 customers and staff lie on the floor during the raid but were forced to leave empty-handed after a customer escaped through a fire exit and set off an alarm.

It happened at the Gala Casino in Redcliffe Way, near St Mary Redcliffe Church, on December 23.

The casino is now offering a £10,000 reward for information which leads to the gang being put behind bars.

Four men burst into the building at about 9.45pm.

They were all wearing forensic- style overalls, three of which were white and one blue and all wore green ninja turtle masks, red Santa hats, false beards and blue gloves.

Two of the men were armed - one with a shotgun and another with a pistol. They attempted to rob the casino of its takings, ordering the staff and customers to lie on the floor.

But a customer at the casino escaped out of a fire exit and set off an alarm that distracted the robbers.

They all ran out and made off in a silver Honda Accord saloon, registration number N263 EPO, which had been parked in the casino's car park.

Police have enhanced closed circuit TV images of the gang and issued photographs of the make and model of cars used by them in the hope the public will be able to help with the inquiry.

Detective Sergeant Adam Bunting, said: "A short time before the robbery occurred, suspicious activity was seen at the Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC, in Avonmeads, St Phillips.

"A silver Honda was sighted with four men changing into white suits. Two other vehicles were also spotted at this location and are thought to be involved.

"They were a dark VW Golf and what is believed to be a dark Subaru Forester. We would like to hear from anyone who saw these vehicles in or around the area at that time and can link the cars with the incident."

It is believed the offenders returned to the KFC takeaway after the robbery and drove off in the Subaru Forester.

Det Sgt Bunting said: "I am hopeful that the CCTV footage may jog somebody's memory who perhaps sold the suits or turtle masks.

"We are appealing to anyone who has any information about this serious offence and any calls will be treated in confidence."

Anyone with information can call the Crimestoppers number, 0800 555 111, or ask to speak to Bridewell CID via the force non- emergency number, 0845 456 7000.

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