POLICE have praised a Sunshine Coast schoolgirl for her "level head" during an armed hold-up at a Maroochydore fast food drive-through on Wednesday night.
Sunshine Coast CIB officer-in-charge Detective Senior Sergeant Daren Edwards said the teenager had done exactly the right thing.
She handed over the cash when approached by a man who appeared to be holding a gun at the Subway store about 6.30pm. The incident has raised concerns about how safe teenagers are when working in fast food outlets after dark.
A Kawana mother, who asked to remain anonymous, said she had feared for her daughter's safety when working at a different Subway branch on the Coast when she was 15.
"Not long after she started, they asked her to work the late shift and close shop," the mother said.
"At that time, there were reports of another store on the Coast being involved in a hold-up.
"There were many, many evenings when I would go there and park in front of the shop and just sit there for two to three hours because I was concerned about her."
Her daughter, who is now 19, said she had not received specific training, only general guidelines about what to do in a hold-up situation.
"We were advised to give them whatever they wanted as our safety was most important," the teenager said.
"When I was younger, it was scary, but there were always two of us on then and you get used to it after a while."
The franchise owner of the Aerodrome Road Subway was not available for comment. But Subway's head office in Australia sent through a statement.
"The safety and security of our customers and crew is of paramount importance to us," a spokesman said.
"We provide training materials on store security for franchisees and staff to use and have a security consultant available for franchisee consultation."
Police are still searching for the man involved in the hold-up and believe he could have been using a hire car.
CCTV footage has shown the vehicle used was possibly a late-model Hyundai i40 or i45 sedan.
Police are asking any agencies that may have rented out such a car in the past few days to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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