Staff at a Tunbridge Wells travel agency faced a terrifying ordeal on Friday when an armed robber raided the store’s currency exchange.
Kent Police are now appealing for witnesses following the incident, in which the man threatened the staff at the Mount Pleasant Road branch of Thomas Cook with a black handgun before fleeing on foot with a ‘quantity’ of cash.
The raid, which occurred at 11.35am, was described by one member of staff present as ‘extremely scary’. Nobody was injured.
It is believed the gunman later got into a blue Renault Clio which turned onto London Road from Lime Hill Road and was last seen travelling in the direction of Crowborough.
There are reports that the gunman had previously been seen entering nearby Thompson travel agents before being ‘spooked’ and running into Thomas Cook. This has not been confirmed.
As part of their enquiries officers arrested a 32-year-old man from Orpington in connection with the offence. He has since been bailed, pending further enquiries, until October 24.
Oliver Hennessy, a staff member at the Whirligig toy shop opposite the travel agents, said: “We didn’t see or hear anything until the police cars turned up.
“We are right opposite and didn’t hear anything. They must’ve been very good not to draw any attention.”
Staff members at C&H Fabrics adjacent confirmed police had been into the store looking for eye witnesses.
A Thomas Cook spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a robbery took place at our store in Tunbridge Wells. All persons present during this incident are safe and unharmed.
“We are working with the local police to assist them with their investigation.”
The suspect is described to be white, approximately 5ft 6ins tall and of medium build. He spoke with an English accent, had brown hair and an unshaven face.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Kent Police on 01622 604100 quoting YY/014846/16.
Alternatively contact Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.