Robbers target three Norwich shops with axe, knife and garden tool in two weeks
- Credit: Archant
Armed robbers have targeted three shops in Norwich this month, threatening staff with weapons including an axe and a knife.
Police are appealing for help to track down two men after the incidents, which took place over the last two weeks.
The first happened just before 6.30pm on Tuesday, March 5 at the Just News and Convenience shop on Nelson Street, when suspects threatened staff with what is believed to have been a garden tool.
They stole a sum of money from the till.
The second incident happened at the One Stop shop on Woodcock Road just before 1pm on Tuesday, March 12, when suspects threatened staff with what is believed to be an axe and a knife, again leaving with a sum of money.
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And the third robbery happened at about 7.20pm on Thursday, March 14 when suspects threatened staff at Waterloo Food and Wine in Waterloo Road.
Sritharan Tharamlingam, 47, the owner of Waterloo Food and Wine in Waterloo Road, who was alone in the shop at the time, had been in the storeroom when he heard the doorbell and came into the main shop to find two men, one of whom was wielding a spade.
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The suspects threatened Mr Tharamlingam before stealing cigarettes.
Mr Tharamlingam said: 'Someone came in with a garden shovel... they pushed me away and I tried to fight them off.'
Shop staff at Woodcock Road and Nelson Street said they were not able to comment.
But one person living near Just News said they seen emergency service vehicles rush to the shop.
Gerry Filby, who lives on a neighbouring street, said he walked past the shop on the night of March 5 and saw police arrive.
'They rushed there with sirens on,' he said, 'but I had no idea what was going on at first.
'It was shut off and we weren't allowed in.'
He said it felt like the area had become a target for crime over the last few years, with an increase in anti-social behaviour incidents.
After the Woodcock Road robbery, the shop was forced to stay shut until 1pm the following day. At the time, neighbours and nearby businesses said they weren't aware of the incident until they saw the police cordon tape.
Detectives have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak in connection with the incidents.
• Anyone who may recognise the men should contact DI Chris Burgess at Norwich CID 101 quoting crime references 36/15284/19, 36/16993/19 or 36/17431/19.
• Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.