WATCH: The terrifying moment a knife-wielding robber demands money from pregnant shop assistant
PUBLISHED: 08:42 31 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:47 31 October 2017
A knife-wielding robber burst into a family-run petrol station before demanding money from a pregnant shop assistant.
Hours later in the same Norfolk market town, a man in his 80s was woken by a hooded burglar who ordered him to hand over cash.
Both incidents took place in Stalham over the weekend - just hours apart at opposite ends of the town.
Stalham Engineering, known locally as Nicholsons, was targeted by a masked robber shortly before closing time on Friday at 8.45pm.
A man wearing a high-vis jacket with a hood over his head burst into the petrol station shop and pulled out a knife.
The terrified shop assistant, who is five months pregnant, stepped back in horror as he stole money from the till.
Sarah Nicholson, managing director, said: “Our till doesn’t hold that much cash at any given time, so he didn’t take much.
“But the psychological damage caused to her [the shop assistant] could be horrendous.”
“She was obviously quite shaken up, but she is okay and fortunately the baby is fine.”
A second man was caught on CCTV keeping watch opposite the garage on Yarmouth Road as the drama unfolded.
Mrs Nicholson said the robber escaped with less than £100 due to the small amount of cash kept in the till.
Meanwhile, six hours later on Chapel Field Road in Stalham, one of the village’s much-loved local characters was targeted by burglars as he slept.
The victim, who is in his early 80s and did not wish to be named, was woken at around 3am by two hooded men leaning over him in the darkness.
His friend, Roy Jones, 52, said: “He [the victim] told me it was pitch black and they were demanding money from him.
“They said ‘give us the money and we go’, so he threw around £150 at them in cash to get them to leave.
“It’s the second time he has been targeted.”
Mr Jones said the victim was a “lovely old boy who wouldn’t hurt a fly”.
“This has changed his life and the problem is that he is petrified now,” he added.
“But we are a community here and everyone has rallied round to help him.”
Police said they were not currently linking the two incidents.
Appeal for witnesses
Police are yet to make any arrests in connection with the two incidents.
However, they are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.
Police said the petrol station robber is described as being in his 20s and around 5ft 8in tall.
He was wearing a black scarf across his face, a grey hooded top, a half orange reflective jacket, with a navy bottom half and navy trousers with cream boots.
Another male standing outside the petrol station was wearing a dark T-shirt and light jeans.
Witnesses with information should contact Det Con Mark Randall at North Walsham CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Meanwhile, police said the burglary on Chapel Field Road in Stalham happened at around 3am on Saturday, October 28.
Business owner Roy Jones said crime had increased in the town since the local police station closed last year.