Sunday January 27,2013 : DEAD BOOKIE ROBBER IDENTIFIED (Update)
 
Would-be robber's gun was a replica, say police
 
The gasmask-wearing man who tried to rob a Plymouth bookie shop Friday evening and died after being tackled by punters has been identified as Alan Levers (50).
 
Police investigations have also revealed that the gun he was wielding was a replica, although that would have been hard to detect at the time of the attempted robbery, and does not detract from the courage of the two young men who were in the shop, and tackled, disarmed and held Levers until police arrived
 
On the arrival of the police Levers was found to be unconscious, and later died despite efforts to resuscitate him.
 
According to a report in the Sunday People newspaper, Levers had just been released from prison for robbery when he burst into the betting shop wearing a gasmask and pulled out what appeared to be a pistol, demanding money from the terrified staff. As he turned to leave two punters in the shop tackled him.
 
Plymouth police commander Andy Bickley said the gun appeared to have been an imitation pistol.
 
"I would like to add, however, that there would have been no way of knowing this at the time of the incident. The actions taken by members of the public in the shop were brave and showed a disregard for their own safety," he said.