CCTV could hold key to raid

CCTV could hold the key today to catching a gun-toting robber who carried out a night-time raid on an Ipswich store.


Crime Reporter>

CCTV could hold the key today to catching a gun-toting robber who carried out a night-time raid on an Ipswich store.

It was one of two armed robberies carried out in the town last night and left a 17-year-old college student working at Bourne End store in Wherstead Road facing the barrel of a handgun.

Police are today hunting two armed robbers who struck separately at the general stores and also at Victoria Wine in Meredith Road, where staff threatened with a crowbar yesterday.

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Unwins Wine shop in Woodbridge Road East was also targeted by two young men with a knife on Sunday night.

Officers are not linking last night's raids, which happened within an hour-and-a-half of each other.

In the first robbery, which took place just before 7pm, the 17-year-old behind the counter of the Bourne End shop was threatened by a masked gunman.

Shop owner Manish Patel, who lives above the store with his wife and two sons, said CCTV footage from the store and adjacent petrol station was being studied by police.

He said: "The robber had a mask over his face so I'm not sure how much help the tapes will be.

"It's not something that you would expect to happen in this part of Ipswich. I wasn't here at the time, but I've been told that the man came in, pointed a silver handgun at my member of staff and demanded that he enter the till.

"The staff member went for the alarm but was told by the gunman that, if he touched it, he would be killed."

After handing some money over and raising the alarm as the gunman ran off, the member of staff was taken home by police.

"He is pretty shocked but he is coping well," added Mr Patel, 41.

"We have already got a good security system but against someone pointing a gun at you, there's not much you can do."

The shop was open for business again today.

Mr Patel said: "There's no way that we are going to let this get to us – we've got bulldog spirit."

Inspector Mike Hinshelwood, of Suffolk police, said: "We got a call at 6.54pm to say that a male had entered the store and produced a handgun, whereupon he demanded cash.

"He was given an undisclosed amount of money and he then made off from the store on foot. Nobody was hurt and no shots were fired.

The raider wore a green jacket with the hood pulled up over his head and had a black mask or scarf over his face.

In the second robbery, a man wielding a crowbar burst into the Victoria Wine shop in Meredith Road at 8.25pm. He threatened staff with the weapon before stealing the contents of the till and making his escape.

Anyone with information about either robbery should call Suffolk police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555111.