Shopkeepers share fear after vicious robberies

Police at the scene of an armed robbery at Shoemarket, off Church Road St Annes.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'27-3-2013
Police at the scene of an armed robbery at Shoemarket, off Church Road St Annes. PIC BY ROB LOCK'27-3-2013
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TERRIFIED shopkeepers say they’re worried they could be the next victims of a brutal armed robber.

Two attacks, which involved the raider wielding a brick and a knife respectively, took place in Central Drive, Blackpool, and Church Road, St Annes, earlier this week.

In one raid a female shop assistant at Best One, on Central Drive, on Tuesday morning, was threatened with a brick by the assailant, while in the other – which took place at Shoemarket, on Church Road, St Annes, on Wednesday afternoon – a female employee had a knife held to her throat.

In both instances the robber made off with a small amount of cash.

He fled the scene of the second attack in a getaway car, believed to be a blue Volkswagen.

Police believe the two incidents could be linked.

Central Drive shop workers have reacted with shock to the raids and say they are now afraid something similar could happen to them.

Osman Asad, shop assistant at City Shop, next door to Best One, said: “It’s shocking and the police were everywhere checking everything.

“I don’t feel safe or secure really.

“If they do that in the daytime what are they going to do at night?”

Jeanette Cronin, co-owner of Tasty Plaice, on Central Drive, said: “We’ve heard about what happened from customers, obviously it makes you security conscious.”

Lehop Tan, of Red Pepper restaurant, said: “It’s scary and it’s really shocking in the daytime.”

Police are currently awaiting the results of forensic tests from the crime scenes.

Det Sgt Nick Connaughton, from Blackpool CID, said: “We’re waiting on some forensic results from fingerprinting at the scene and routine scene work.

“Unfortunately the second offence isn’t on CCTV.”