Nine robberies in Leigh, Atherton and Lowton could be linked say police
5:10pm Tuesday 5th March 2013 in North West
POLICE believe a string of armed robberies in the Leigh area over the past few months could be the work of two men or an individual.
They have released CCTV images of the man or men responsible for nine cash robberies over the past four months when they threatened shop and fast-food restarant staff.
Indications are that a robbery at the Weekender off licence on Chapel Street, Leigh on November 3, and one at Costcutters on Bolton Road, Atherton on November 6 are the work of the same man.
During the first robbery, a man wearing a scalf around his face went into the off-licence at about 5.30pm brandishing a hammer. He threatened the woman working behind the counter and stole cash.
The Costcutters robbery took place just after 7pm and again, a man wearing a scalf around his face produced a claw hammer and threatened a woman working there before stealing cash from a till.
The other seven robberies, which police suspect another man is responsible for, took place at the Cost Less store on Wigan Road, Leigh on November 5, the McDonald's fast food restaurant on Tyldesley Road, Hindsford on November 15 and December 3, a KFC restaurant on the Parsonage Retail Park on November 23, a McDonald's in Stone Cross Lane, Lowton on December 13 and at the Westleigh Post Office on September 21 and December 15.
On each occasion, a man walked up to the counter armed with either a claw hammer or a knife and threatened the staff before stealing cash. In total more than £4,000 was stolen.
Detective Constable Susan O'Connell said: "Over four months there have been nine robberies that we suspect are the work of two different criminals.
"We cannot rule out that others may be involved or that it might in fact be the work of just one man.
"They have caused a lot of anxiety among the business community within Wigan by committing robberies underpinned by threats of violence."
Anyone with information or who recognises the offender(s) should call police on 0161 856 7252 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
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