Police hunting masked robbers who attacked two Oswestry stores in a week

Reporter:

Lucy Wain

Police are hunting two masked and armed robbers who attacked Oswestry stores in the space of a week.

The two crimes are not thought to be linked, say police.

A masked robbery took place in the Co-op store in Castle Street in Oswestry, just one week after an attempted robbery in Laburnum Drive, Oswestry.

In the latest incident, police were called to reports of a robbery at the Co-op convenience store at 7.40pm on Saturday.

A man is believed to have leaned over the till and taken an amount of cash before leaving the premises on foot.

He is described as white, aged in his mid-30s or 40s and around 6ft and of skinny build. He was wearing blue jeans, a grey zip-up hoodie and had a blue scarf or mask covering his face.

According to police, he may have been carrying a small blade or knife.

A spokesperson for the Co-op said: “There was an incident in our Castle Street, Oswestry, store at approximately 7.50pm on Saturday, when an armed intruder entered our store.

“Fortunately, no-one was hurt. We appeal for anyone with information to come forward to the police, who are investigating.”

This is the second attempted robbery at the Co-op store in Castle Street in recent months – a man threatened shop workers with a knife in October 2016.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or seen a man matching the description in the area at the time, is asked to call police on 101, quoting reference number 578s of February 11.

This is the second masked armed robbery in a week.

The first was attempted at Top Shop convenience store in Laburnum Drive, Oswestry.

This attempted robbery also took place by a man wearing a mask and holding a knife.

Shop owner Balasukantham Balasuntharam – who is known as Bala – had to chase off the attacker with a wooden pole after he had demanded money from the till.

The man fled on foot down an alleyway in the direction of Cherry Tree Drive.

Bala said: “It was scary for me but also my customers.

“There are many pensioners who live in this area, there’s a school down the road and kids play ball outside in the car park.

“I worry for their safety as well as my family’s, who live upstairs.”

Police are also appealing for information for this attack. The man is described as white, in his 30s, of medium build and around 5ft 6in tall. He was wearing black tracksuit bottoms, black gloves, dark-coloured trainers and a black North Face coat with the hood up and a scarf round his face.

Anyone with information is asked to call Shrewsbury CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting incident number 681S of February 4.

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