Region's robberies could be linked

A DEDICATED team of officers is today investigating the possibility that a series of armed robberies in East Anglia are linked.

A DEDICATED team of officers is today investigating the possibility that a series of armed robberies in East Anglia are linked.

Detectives said there are similarities between four armed robberies, a ram raid and three burglaries on business premises in Suffolk and Essex and they will be looking at the cases together in the hope of finding a forensic breakthrough.

Suffolk's Acting Detective Inspector Graham Moss, who is overseeing the operation, said: “There are similarities between the crimes and we are looking at them together to see what evidence we can find.

“We have a small team working on this and we are liaising with colleagues in Essex.”

Police believe robberies at a Londis store in Exning, Co-op stores in Needham Market and Mile End, Colchester, and a post office in East Bergholt could all be linked.

They are also investigating a ram raid at a post office Wickhambrook and a burglary at a farm shop and post office in Assington, as well as a burglary at business premises in Hadleigh.

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The raids have all happened at the end of the week and have involved two or three men wearing balaclavas or masks.

In some, cars have been stolen from supermarket car parks before being used in the robberies.

The crimes began on September 14 when two men entered the Co-op store in Barking Road, Needham Market, armed with a shotgun and a piece of wood.

They threatened staff behind the counter and forced them into a back room where they demanded the safe was opened. They left with cash from the safe and tills.

A similar raid took place in Mile End, Colchester, on October 5, followed by an armed raid at a Londis store in Exning the following day.

Then, in the early hours of October 13, three post offices were targeted in Suffolk.

Ramraiders used a truck to smash their way into a post office in Wickhambrook and attempt to steal a safe and thieves also broke into Assington Farm Shop and Post Office in Sudbury and stole cigarettes.

DI Moss, who oversaw Operation Artic last year which focused on a series of almost 90 armed raids on post offices and stores across East Anglia, said: “I hope we don't have any more of these. We want people to be aware more at this time of year and around post offices people have become a lot more cautious and aware.

“If people see anything suspicious we would encourage them to report it to us.

“The premises in Wickhambrook were closed at the time of that offence but the people who work there were still been very distressed.”

Anyone with information about any of the incidents is asked to call DI Moss or Dc Hannah Martin on 01473 613872.

Did you witness any of the raids? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblink:

www.suffolk.police.uk

POLICE have issued CCTV footage of a man they believe is a potential witness to the Exning raid.

The images show a man in the Londis store just before the robbery took place on October 6.

He asked for a free newspaper before leaving the shop and has not yet been spoken to by police.

Three men entered the store just before 10.15pm, one armed with an axe and the other with a crowbar.

They demanded the key to the safe but a member of staff was able to raise the alarm and they escaped with money from the till.

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