Hundreds of pounds have been stolen from a Moray takeaway after thieves demanded cash from staff in a “frightening incident”.
Two men walked into Elgin’s Burger King branch to carry out the brazen robbery before making off with the money, which was later recovered.
Yesterday police launched an operation to trace the thieves, who masked their faces from staff with items of clothing during the incident.
Officers taped off the Ashgrove Road restaurant during the morning while investigators searched the area for clues.
Last night Moray MSP Richard Lochhead condemned the raid as a “distressing experience” for staff who were working at the time.
He added: “I know the police will be working flat out to find those responsible for this serious crime.
“Crimes such as this are thankfully rare in Moray, which makes them all the more shocking when they do occur.”
Moray MP Douglas Ross added: “This is a deeply troubling incident and out of character with the safe area we live in for the majority of the time.”
The robbery happened shortly before midnight on Sunday – nearly an hour after the restaurant closed but with staff still on duty at the time.
Police have launched an appeal for witnesses to trace the men, who are described as being tall, with a stocky build and with accents “not believed to be local”.
Yesterday officers confirmed there was no information to suggest the Burger King raid is connected to a similar theft from a petrol station in Aberdeen on Saturday evening.
Detective Sergeant John Lumsden said: “Fortunately no one was injured but this was a frightening experience for the staff and inquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible.
“I would like to appeal to members of the public who many have been passing through the area around that time of night who saw anything, or who may have dash-cam footage from their vehicle to contact police immediately.”
Meanwhile, in a separate incident in the town, police were also called to Elgin High Street at about 10pm on Sunday following reports of an assault near the Victoria Bar.
A 28-year-old man was taken to Dr Gray’s Hospital but was later discharged.
A police spokeswoman said: “Officers have arrested and charged a 20-year-old man in connection with the incident and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.”
Anyone with information about the Burger King robbery should contact police by calling 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to remain anonymous.