Workers terrified by armed raiders
MASKED raiders armed with a crowbar leapt over the counter of an Ipswich off licence to hold up two female employers said detectives today.They made off with cash and goods worth hundreds of pounds leaving a trail of stolen cigarettes in their wake.
MASKED raiders armed with a crowbar leapt over the counter of an Ipswich off licence to hold up two female employers said detectives today.
They made off with cash and goods worth hundreds of pounds leaving a trail of stolen cigarettes in their wake.
Though the raid lasted minutes, one terrified victim still shaken by her ordeal, said: "It felt like a life time."
The raid comes less than a week since armed raiders made off with £17,000 from the Belstead Arms in Radcliffe Drive.
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Two masked men burst into the Victoria Winestore on Bramford Road at 9.20pm yesterday.
Before either of the assistants, who did not wish there surnames printed, could hit the panic button, they were frog-marched into a storeroom while raiders filled a hold all with cigarettes.
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Minutes later one of the workers, Andrea, 24, who lives in nearby Beaconsfield Road, was forced back into the shop to open the till.
Her colleague Becky said: "One of them was black and the other was white. The white guy seemed really keyed up, like he was on something. He had his coat pulled up over his face. The black guy was wearing a balaclava. It was really terrifying. I didn't know what to think when they burst into the shop."
The raiders were interrupted by a customer, known only as "Phil", who chased the masked men until they turned on him with a crowbar before getting away in a stolen car.
Manageress Lorraine Pryke who has run the Richmond Road store for 18 years, said: "There were packets of cigarettes all over the pavement this morning. Both the girls were very shaken. They got £140 out of the till and between £700 and £800 worth of gift vouchers as well as 32 phone cards worth ten pounds each."
Neighbour Larissa Wright thought she heard the raiders making off. She said: "I saw a young bloke outside wearing a hooded jacket. He was pacing up and down and made me very suspicious. He ran off along an alley at the back of the houses."
The raid is the latest in a series of attacks on Ipswich small businesses. Raiders made off with £17,000 from the Belstead Arms last Tuesday .
In May, masked men held up St John's Post Office only days before the Alldays in Walton fell prey to armed gunmen.
Police are keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the Bramford Road raid or saw the getaway car – a white Vauxhall Astra, registration number F457 YEW, stolen from Sainsbury's car park in Felixstowe.
Anyone with information about the raid should telephone 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.