ARMED robbers fled with hundreds of pounds after holding up a Tuffley bookies with what is believed to be a gun.
Two men burst into the Coral shop in Holmleigh Parade at about 8.50pm on Monday, threatening the cashier with a "gun-shaped object" concealed in a bag.
Steve O'Connor, chairman of the Three Bridges Community Group, which represents residents in the area, said: "This really isn't good. We are hearing and reading about this sort of thing happening more and more often.
"It rings alarm bells with me and I don't think it's going to get any easier.
"People are desperate because of the times we live in but that can't be used as an excuse.
"I do fear it's going to get worse though, something needs to change right at the top because it's just going to get worse for people."
A police spokesman said: "While one man stood at the door the other man, who was carrying a 'JD' drawstring bag over his shoulder, jumped over the counter and held what is described as a 'gun-shaped object' in a bag at the cashier and demanded money.
"The men, who were wearing dark clothing, made off with several hundred pounds."
Councillor Chris Chatterton (L, Grange) said: "I must have missed it by 10 minutes, I was in the shop there at about 8.30pm.
"It's terrible, you really don't expect it to happen in a community like this.
"Yes, times are hard for a lot of people but that absolutely doesn't justify it. I was just reading about the guy from Butlers who was attacked on Sunday and then this, it's really bad."
Justin Hudson, manager of Butlers Bar in Eastgate Street, had his jaw broken in a knifepoint attack on Sunday afternoon, in which the robbers got away with £10,000 of his takings.
Any witnesses to the Tuffley incident should call police on 101, quoting incident 437 of February 11.