Co-op raids could be linked

POLICE investigating an armed robbery at a Suffolk Co-op store are today investigating the possibility it may be linked to a similar raid in Essex.

POLICE investigating an armed robbery at a Suffolk Co-op store are today investigating the possibility it may be linked to a similar raid in Essex.

Two balaclava-clad men held-up the Co-op food store in Barking Road, Needham Market at 9.15pm on September 14 and demanded cash from two young shop assistants.

One of the men had a shotgun and another was holding a piece of wood during the robbery.

The raiders fled the store with a substantial amount of cash, leaving the staff shaken and a male shopper fearing for his life.

Officers are now looking into the possibility the hold-up may be linked to another raid in Mile End, Colchester which happened about 8.45pm on Thursday.

Both incidents happened on Thursday evenings, similar weapons were used and, in both raids, the robbers are thought to have left the scene in Vauxhall Astra cars stolen from supermarket car parks.

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Police believe the Needham robbers may have stolen an H-registration green Astra from Asda in Ipswich and used it as a getaway car, swapping it with another vehicle in Foxglove Avenue, Needham.

In the incident in Nayland Road, Mile End, the robbers are thought to have made their get-away in an Astra stolen from the Tesco car park in Highwoods.

No money was taken in the Colchester raid but a female cashier was slapped in the incident.

In the Suffolk raid a substantial amount of cash was taken from the safe and tills in the store.

Police are now planning to view the Needham store's CCTV footage in the days running up to the incident to see if the robbers visited the store to plan the raid.

Detective Inspector Dave Dring, who is involved in the investigation, said: “We would appeal for anyone with information about the robbery to contact us.

“We are working through the responses we have had so far and if anyone has any information we would welcome it.”

Police are keen to speak to anyone who saw the Astra after it was stolen from Asda on the morning of the robbery.

Anyone with information should call Det Insp Dave Dring at Suffolk police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Weblink: www.suffolk.police.uk

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