Late-night businesses step up security after armed robbery

THE hunt for an armed robber who held a shopkeeper at gunpoint and made off with about $1000 in cash from Rod's Food Market at about 10.30pm on Monday continues.

Investigations by Gladstone detectives are ongoing, after a number of calls from the public had so far failed to result in an arrest of the suspect.

Since January 1, 2012, 15 robberies have been carried out within Gladstone, with nine of those solved, according to Queensland Police Service statistics.

The late-night hold-up had some local businesses wary of becoming the next victims of another brazen robbery.

Drake's IGA store manager Jodie Magyar said they had procedures in place to ensure they were not an attractive target for would-be thieves.

"I've always got a full crew on of a night-time for those reasons (armed hold-ups)," Ms Magyar said.

The local manager said her store's security had undergone major upgrades of late, to ensure they were well protected from lowlife assailants targeting late-night traders.

"Obviously we've got surveillance cameras throughout the whole store and all our staff have all gone through hold-up procedures, and we've got a duress alarm and all that too," she said.

Of grave concern for local detectives was the use of a handgun in the hold-up at Rod's Food Market.

With the chance for events to go wrong during a robbery so high, the presence of a handgun was a recipe for tragedy.

QPS data revealed that since January 1, 2013, there had been 68 weapons act offences committed within the Gladstone area, although encouragingly, 66 of those had been recorded as being solved.

Gladstone detectives are appealing to the public to assist in apprehending the suspect of Monday night's robbery, asking anyone with information to come forward.

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