POLICE are investigating if a spate of terrifying armed robberies in Ellesmere Port are linked.
In recent weeks, five premises in the town have been targeted by thieves wielding weapons and demanding cash from traumatised staff.
The latest incident happened on Friday night, when two balaclava-clad men wielding knives entered Bargain Booze on Gleneagles Road, Great Sutton.
Between 8.50 and 9.05pm, staff were subjected to 15 minutes of terror while the men demanded they open the tills to give them money.
As they left with ‘a quantity of cash’, one of the men stole a mountain bike from outside the store.
Three days earlier, two stores were raided in similar circumstances in a four-hour period.
At 5.25pm on February 12, three men wearing balaclavas forced their way into a post office on Overpool Road, pushing staff to the ground as they tried to access the rear of the building.
They managed to steal cash from the safe before running off.
At 9.20pm, a man, again wearing a balaclava and wielding a hammer, burst into the Port Wines store on Hope Farm Precinct, shouting demands for cash. The terrified shop worker fled in fear as the man made off with the lower half of the till.
Similarly, on January 29, both McColl’s newsagents in Little Sutton and Wolverham Post Office were targeted within three hours.
This time the masked men were carrying knives and large planks of wood and made off with cash on both occasions.
Detective Inspector Simon Lonsdale from Ellesmere Port CID said the community’s help in solving the incidents was ‘vital’.
“We are currently attempting to establish whether the recent robberies are linked,” he said. “We understand that these incidents cause a great degree of panic and concern for those directly involved and would like to reassure the public that we are doing all we can to bring the offenders responsible to justice.
“Evidence from the local community is vital when piecing together information for crimes such as this.”
Call Cheshire police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.