Yarmouth police warning after knifepoint robberies

POLICE are warning the public to be vigilant following a spate of armed robberies in the Great Yarmouth borough during the last month.

Det Con Kevin Maskell, of Yarmouth police, urged the public to watch out for anyone behaving suspiciously and report them to the police after knife-wielding robbers carried out five raids in as many weeks.

In the latest incident, Lisa White, 40, a shop assistant at Crown Stores in Crown Road, Yarmouth saw off a robber waving a two inch blade, who ordered her to open her till at 1pm on Saturday.

Police believe the robbery was linked to a raid at Evans Foodstore in Yarmouth last Thursday, while they also believe three previous raids at Howards Residential Lettings, the Recruiting Sergeant pub in Yarmouth, and Scratby Garden Centre. may be linked to each other.

The robbers at Howards, in Hall Plain escaped with �2,000, while three pint glasses and a half pint glass containing cash were taken from the pub. A man has been arrested and released on bail in connection with the Garden Centre raid.

Supt Jim Smerdon, of Yarmouth Police, said: “We can’t rule out the possibility there may be links between these offences, however, I would like to reassure residents there have been a number of search warrants executed in connection with the investigations and other forensic work continues. We take reports of robberies extremely seriously and will undertake extensive enquiries to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.”

Miss White, who has worked at the corner shop for 10 years, was alone when the robber came in because her manager was at the cash and carry. She said: “The shop had been busy with customers, but it was when it went quiet that the raider came in and said, ‘open the till’.

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“He was very quietly spoken and I mistakenly thought he had asked for cigarettes. But then he told me again to ‘open the till’ and that was when I saw his knife.”

She firmly told him no but: “He came round the back of the counter and was standing right next to me, pointing his knife at me. What flashed through my mind was that times were hard and he was not getting the money.”

Miss White stood her ground, praying for someone to come in the shop but he grabbed some cigarettes and fled.

The raider was wearing a white hooded jumper with a grey and black striped jumper over the top, a blue headscarf and a blue neck scarf. His knife had a 2in blade.

The Evans Foodstore robber who struck at 7.10pm and left with a small sum of cash was wearing black gloves, a grey scarf and black hooded jacket.

Police would like to speak to two men in connection with the Recruiting Sergeant incident.

One was carrying a black carrier bag or bin bag, wearing medium blue jeans and a khaki jacket with the hood up. The second man was wearing a jacket made of a Black PVC-type material and a mask over his face. He had a high pitched giggly laugh. Both are about 5ft 7in tall.

Contact: DC Gillian Dawson at Yarmouth on 0845 4564567 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.