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Knife-wielding robber on the loose in Basildon
A MASKED robber has held up a string of Basildon newsagents at knifepoint.
Detectives are hunting a man after three robberies on Martin’s newsagents on Friday and two others in recent weeks.
Detective Sergeant Lisa Haines, of Basildon Police, said: "These incidents must have been very distressing for the staff members involved.
“We believe they are all connected and really need to catch this man before he strikes again.
“I really need to hear from anyone who may have information which could help our investigation."
A man with a knife and a burgundy-coloured scarf around the lower half of his face walked into Martin’s in Clay Hill Road, Basildon, at about 8.05am on Friday.
The suspect, who is described as white, about 26 years old and of slim build, picked up an energy drink from the chiller cabinet and then approached the till demanding money.
The robber, who was wearing a grey hooded top, left with a two figure sum of cash in notes and some change, as well as some tobacco.
Police are connecting the robbery to two incidents which happened at two other Martin’s stores in Basildon earlier that day.
The first was an attempted theft that happened at the shop in the Laindon Centre at about 6.30am where a man tried to open the door to get into the till area, but failed. He then left.
The second happened at the store in Ballards Walk at about 6.55am when a man walked behind the counter and asked for money.
When the staff member failed to open the till he took some cigarettes from the display and left. No threats were made to staff.
And detectives believe the crimes are also linked to two previous robberies at Martin’s stores in recent weeks.
One happened at the store in Ballards Walk shortly before 7.30am on Wednesday, December 11, when a cashier was threatened with a knife and forced to hand over a three-figure sum of cash.
The other happened at the store in the Laindon Centre at about 5.55pm on Friday, November 22, when staff were threatened with a knife, before a three figure sum of cash and some cigarettes were stolen.
Anyone with information is urged to contact DC Nick May, or colleagues at Basildon CID, on 101.
Alternatively, call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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