Detectives investigate robbery links

DETECTIVES are to investigate a possible link between a foiled robbery attempt at a Suffolk supermarket and a second incident just hours later which saw gun-toting raiders escape with vast sums of cash.

DETECTIVES are to investigate a possible link between a foiled robbery attempt at a Suffolk supermarket and a second incident just hours later which saw gun-toting raiders escape with vast sums of cash.

Quick-thinking shoppers and staff prevented a major crime at Tescos, in Newmarket's Fordham Road, on Friday night when three men, dressed in yellow fluorescent jackets, attempted to hold up a security van.

But less than four hours later, robbers escaped with "a substantial amount of money" after threatening a security guard as he filled up cash machines during a similar incident at the Tesco store in March, Cambridgeshire.

Although no handguns were seen at the attempted robbery in Suffolk, detectives have said they will now work to determine if there is any link between the two offences.


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Just before the 6.30pm incident in Newmarket, the men were seen pushing and repairing shopping trolleys in the car park outside the store, close to the cash machines and café.

When a security van arrived, they covered their faces with hoods and scarves. Police were called, and the trio escaped by climbing over a fence and running through a neighbouring builders' yard.

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Det Insp David Skevington, of Suffolk Police, said the prompt actions of staff and shoppers, along with a quick police response, had prevented a more severe incident from happening.

"We are now piecing together all available evidence," he said. "The store was very busy at the time.

"We are keen to talk to anybody who saw these men or anything else which may assist our investigation.

"The alert actions of the public and staff at Tescos, coupled with the rapid police response, has prevented a serious crime being committed."

At around 10pm the same evening, a second, similar incident was reported to Cambridgeshire Police, with a gang of three robbers targeting the store in Hostmoor Avenue.

The men, all wearing balaclavas and carrying handguns, approached a security guard as he filled a cash machine, threatening and attacking him before escaping with money.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Police said they fled the scene in a red Vauxhall Carlton, registration L738 PMP, which was driven by a fourth man and later found dumped at the bottom of the road.

It is thought they then used a second vehicle to make their escape.

A spokesman for Tesco said: "I can confirm an incident happened outside the March store late on Friday night. Obviously we are thankful that nobody was hurt or injured.

"We will be helping police with their investigations and hope these people will be caught very quickly."

Anyone with information about the incident in Suffolk should contact Newmarket CID on 01284 774400 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Witnesses to the Cambridgeshire incident can call 0845 4564564.

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