TWO hair salons — just a few hundred yards apart — have been raided by knife-wielding robbers.
Both businesses — Talking Heads in Deane Church Lane and Cabello for Hair in Wigan Road — had cash taken from their tills in the terrifying incidents.
Police now believe that the two raids in Deane, just two days apart, could be linked.
In the first robbery a masked man stormed into the Talking Heads salon at 3pm on Thursday and threatened staff with a knife.
He assaulted one member of staff, Karen Gardner, pulling her hair before Alan Tyrer, the fiancé of salon owner Shelley Whelan, tried to fight off the man with a broom.
The robber, who is described as white, in his mid-twenties, about 6ft tall, wearing a tracksuit with a scarf covering his face, and carrying a bag, made off with the takings from the till.
Owner, Ms Whelan said: “It has shaken us all up. We are now locking the doors all the time and get nervous when people come to the door. Even the postman.
“I have owned the salon for about nine years and while we have had some incidents before, there hasn’t been anything as scary as this.”
Ms Gardner who works at the salon said: “He came in waving the knife around and then he grabbed my hair and started pulling me about — it was terrifying.”
The second robbery took place on Saturday at noon and involved two masked men entering the Cabello for Hair salon in Wigan Road, just around the corner from Talking Heads.
Both men were brandishing knives and demanded to know where the till was.
Shaken staff directed the thugs to the till and they made off with about £400.
Salon owner Nova Perkins said: “We have talked to the guys at Talking Heads and there is a good chance it was the same person involved.”
Staff described a white male in his mid-twenties, wearing a tracksuit with a scarf covering his face and also carrying a bag.
The second man is described as being white, about 5ft 10in tall and also wearing a tracksuit with his face covered.
Ms Perkins said: “They came in waving knives around and shouting at us to show them where the till was.
“After hearing about the other robbery, we have had the door locked all day, but a client had left and it was open for just five minutes and that is when they came in.
“We think they tried to get into several other shops on this stretch but didn’t manage it — it is a shock for it to happen so soon after the other one.”
A police spokesman said: "No arrests have been made for either incident at this stage and enquiries are ongoing.
“Anyone with any information about these robberies is urged to contact us by calling 101."