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Masked gunmen hold up bookies on Headington estate
A GUNPOINT robbery at a Headington bookmakers has left traders fearing they will be next.
Two armed and masked raiders entered the Betfred shop in The Slade on Sunday evening and demanded cash.
It came after a nearby pub manager was doused in petrol and told he would be set alight if he did not give up money in January.
Last night Yasir Hanif, owner of nearby Yasai Computers, said: “Things were already bad but now they are worse – on a different level.
“I don’t think any one of us is feeling safe. It feels like it’s just a matter of time before it’s going to come to us.
“You never know what is going to happen with armed robbery. If the thief feels threatened they can fire at you.”
Police said it was not known if the weapon at Betfred was a real handgun or an imitation.
They said the robbers, wearing balaclavas and hooded tops, ran towards Bulan Road after the raid at about 6.30pm. They have not said how much was taken.
Two Oxford men, aged 22 and 24, were arrested on suspicion of robbery and bailed until May 8.
Mr Hanif, who has run the Cinnaminta Road store for seven years, said: “These things are going on at a high rate right now. I don’t think it is acceptable.”
He said there had been problems with anti-social behaviour and even racial abuse, and added: “It is normal now.”
He said traders had asked police and the council for more CCTV and offered to pay for it.
Santosh Singh, owner of the Londis store in The Slade, said: “Everybody is frightened.”
Investigating officer Det Sgt Mark Stalder appealed for help in catching the robbers.
He said: “This was a frightening ordeal for the people in the bookmakers.”
Betfred did not respond to a request for a comment.