South Wales Police are today hunting an armed robber who stole a luxury holiday from a travel agent in the Cardiff area. Witnesses say that the gunman burst into the high street shop on Monday afternoon, shouted at customers to lie on the floor and then demanded a weekend mini-break in Paris, incorporating first class tickets on the Eurostar. Police have had no success finding the thief and are beginning to suspect that he may have fled abroad.
Monday’s robbery was similar to a number of holiday thefts in the South Wales area over the past few months, which police are beginning to suspect may be the work of the same man. However this latest hold-up started to go badly wrong as the agents explained that there was very little available at such short notice. There were no train seats remaining, and although they could book his car onto a cross channel ferry, ‘it would mean a long drive from Calais to Paris and then there’s all the parking problems at the other end.’ The panicked gunman became increasingly agitated demanding that they try flights to Paris and explain connections from the airport. ‘But the times didn’t really work out for him…’ said Jenny Charteris, one of the traumatized travel agent staff who had been forced to co-operate at gun-point. ‘I offered him Center Parcs but he became even angrier’ she recalled, ‘or an off-peak canal barge holiday through the Norfolk broads, but again, he just kept shouting that he had his heart set on a City Break. In the end he took a whole bunch of them; Prague, Venice, Amsterdam, and then ran out of the shop still waving his gun and shouting.’
South Wales detectives have now begun a massive man hunt, beginning at hotels in the Caribbean and the Seychelles. ‘We are undertaking a pre-emptive operation, checking out his likely next move. We have staked out the beaches in the Maldives, Mauritius and Florida. There is also the possibility that he might make a move for a skiing holiday next, and so are sending officers to Val d’Isere and Aspen, Colorado.’ However as things stand, the police are no closer to catching the thief. ‘All we have to go on so far is his name, his car registration, the airport he is going to, the times of his flights and the hotel where he will be staying. If anyone has any more information we urge them to come forward in confidence.’