RAIDERS armed with power tools and possibly a gun targeted two off licences on the same night.
Thieves ripped through steel shutters with a saw at the One Stop shop, Weston Grove, Upton at 4.46am on Tuesday, while less than eight hours earlier a robber threatened staff in Thresher Wine Store on Christleton Road.
There were sightings of a gun although police are presently unsure whether he was armed. They have not linked the two incidents.
The manager of Thresher, who did not wish to be named, said her man behind the counter had been ‘brilliant’.
She said: ‘A boy came into the shop wearing a grey hoodie with his face obscured, with black leggings and perhaps brandishing a gun. No-one knows if it was real or not.
‘The staff got themselves out of danger and because he had no-one to threaten he left. The staff were brilliant – they didn’t panic.
‘When you live in a small community things stick out, but it’s just the society we have now.’
Another female staff member was in the back room during the raid, at 9.08pm on Monday.
Police then got an automatic alarm call from the One Stop shop.
Two officers arrived six minutes later to find would-be thieves had used a steel saw to get through the shutters before smashing the window.
Luckily a smoke cloak, which envelops the area in a dense smog, activated when they tried to snatch cigarettes. They left with bottles of spirit and beer.
The Thresher robber ran off behind the store, possibly joining an accomplice.
He had a grey hoodie, was 6ft2in, heavily built and carried a shoulder bag.
Witnesses or anyone with information should call Constable Moore of Chester SI U on 0845 458 0000, 01244 613174 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.