Armed New Year raid at local bar

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A RESTAURANT located in the sleepy hamlet of Cañadas de Praes between Pilar de la Horadada and Campoverde had some unwelcome visitors.

At around 11pm on New Year’s Day, four large men entered Mendero Paco y Pilar brandishing firearms.

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With guns aimed at the owner and staff, the contents of the till, were taken. Guests were suddenly looking down the barrel of a firearm, and forced to hand over their wallets, purses, rings and watches.

“I was a bit surprised because these strange men came in and while it was cold outside, not enough for them to need cover their faces,” said owner Pilar Campillo.

“All one of them said was ‘This is a robbery’. I screamed for my husband who had gone upstairs, but unfortunately he did not hear me. One of the men stayed at the door, one took the cash from the register, and one came over to where I was with seven of my family members, friends and some regular clientes while another took our mobile phones and other valuables.

At least two of them had guns that I could see.” Pilar is sure that the robbery was planned as her eldest son had seen the four men in a car outside the bar up to an hour before.

“I am sure they had been waiting until most people had left so that the robbery would be more manageable. It was definitely planned rather than spur of the moment.”

The language spoken during the raid was a mix of Russian and Moroccan, according to witnesses.

The robbery, which only lasted about 10 minutes has left Pilar “very scared”. “I now lock the door just after 8.30pm and whoever is in the bar at the time I let out personally and I only let in people that I know.”

These four men are also believed to have committed three other similar robberies in December in the villages of Torre Pacheco, El Mirador and Alcazares, officers told Pilar.

Not the best of ways to start the New Year. Let us hope the Guardia Civil have a breakthrough, and put these desperados away.

EWN EXCLUSIVE By Nicole Hallett and Rob Barnes

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