Family of armed robber who died after being restrained by customers say they blame no one for his death


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The Independent Online

The family of an armed robber who died after being restrained by customers as he attempted to raid a betting shop said they hold no one responsible for his death.

Alan Levers, 50, entered a Ladbrokes betting shop in Crownhill Road, Plymouth on Friday night wearing a gas mask and waving a pistol that was later found to be imitation. He was pinned down by four customers and died a few minutes after police arrived on the scene.

Today his nephew Peter Levers described him as a “career criminal” who was attempting to come off drugs. “Things were going all right for him for once,” he said. “He was staying off the drugs and had the whole family behind him.

“I last saw him on Thursday evening. He went out fishing and came back with a big smile on his face. We don’t hold anybody responsible.”

Mr Levers added that his uncle was the father of four teenagers who lived in the city, along with his partner.

No charges have been made and Ch Supt Andy Bickley described the customers in the betting shop as “extremely brave”.

“The firearm has been initially examined by police and appears to be an imitation, though this still needs to be verified,” he said. “I would like to add, however, that there would have been no way of knowing this at the time of the incident. “

“His [Levers’] family are being supported by police and our thoughts and condolences are with his family at this sad and difficult time.”