Hunt on for brick threat thug

CCTV footage of the moment a Blackpool shop worker was threatened with a brick. Below: Police at the Shoemarket store in St Annes.

CCTV footage of the moment a Blackpool shop worker was threatened with a brick. Below: Police at the Shoemarket store in St Annes.

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A violent thug threatened to smash a terrified shop assistant with a brick during a violent raid at a newsagents.

The thief is still at large after the robbery at Best One on Central Drive, Blackpool, which detectives believe could be linked to an armed raid which happened in St Annes yesterday.

Police at the Shoemarket store in St Annes.

Police at the Shoemarket store in St Annes.

In the latest incident, a knife-wielding attacker walked into Shoemarket, on Church Road, in St Annes, at around 4pm before holding the blade to a shop assistant’s throat and demanding cash.

He then stole some cash before fleeing the scene in a blue getaway car, thought to be a Volkswagen.

The robbery happened just hours after a raid at Best One, also known as Central News, at around 10.20am on Tuesday when a man approached the counter brandishing a house brick. He demanded money before making off with a small amount of cash.

Det Sgt Nick Connaughton, from Blackpool CID said: “On both occasions people have been threatened with a weapon and staff have been left terrified following a frightening ordeal.”

Police have now released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the Central Drive robbery.

Det Sgt Connaughton added: “It is important we locate him and speak to him as soon as possible.

“If anyone was in either the Central Drive area of Blackpool on Tuesday or the Church Road area of St Annes yesterday and witnessed either incident then I would ask you to get in touch with the police.”

Neighbours on Church Road have spoken of their shock following the latest raid.

Steven Russell, 54, of nearby St Albans Road, said: “They’re all women who work in there so it’s an easy target, it’s unbelievable.

“It’s disgusting and it’s a shame people have to resort to things like this.”

Emma Potter, 28, who works as a beauty therapist at Pure beauty therapy centre, on Church Road, said: “I saw a police van, it’s awful. It’s usually quite busy round here at that time of day too because of all the shops.”

Andrea Powell, who lives on the same road, said: “I knew the police had been called.

“I guess you’ve got to be careful when you go out now.

“There’s something wrong with the world, it wants sorting out.”

Another resident on the street, who did not wish to be named and is also a former employee of Shoemarket, said: “I was concerned about my friends and the police told me they were alright but a bit shook up.

“They’re lovely people and I couldn’t have worked for a nicer company.

“We’ve had nothing like this before and I hope they catch the thieving swine.”

If you have any information call police on 101.

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