Essex publicans warned after latest raid

POLICE have warned licensees in north Essex to be extra vigilant after a robber escaped with several thousand pounds after striking at a pub.The raid at St Osyth is the fifth to target local pubs in recent weeks and police believe there is a possibility they could be connected.

POLICE have warned licensees in north Essex to be extra vigilant after a robber escaped with several thousand pounds after striking at a pub.

The raid at St Osyth is the fifth to target local pubs in recent weeks and police believe there is a possibility they could be connected.

The robber struck just after 8.15am yesterdaywhen he called at the back door of the Seagull Public house in Beach Road, and claimed he was making a delivery.

He was let into the building by a staff member aged in her 20s.


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However the scene quickly turned ugly when the man, said to be between 35 and 40, threatened her with a knife and demanded cash.

After he had stolen several thousand pounds, the woman was bound hand and foot before the robber made his escape. The victim was left terrified but unharmed.

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No vehicle was seen but police have not ruled out the possibility that an accomplice was waiting in a car nearby to whisk the robber away.

Police appealed for witnesses to the raid, which happened near the entrance to the Seawick Holiday Village.

The suspect is described as white, and of stocky build with a stubbly chin. He wore a blue baseball cap, a blue T-shirt, jeans and white trainers.

Det Sgt Martin Brough said: "There would have been a lot of people in the vicinity of The Seagull this morning, and I would like to hear from anyone who heard or saw anything, or who may recognise the description of the robber.

"This was a terrifying ordeal for the victim and we need to catch this man as soon as possible."

An Essex Police spokesman said the case would be studied alongside four other recent offences in which pubs have been raided.

Raiders struck at the Three Horseshoes, The Tye, East Hanningfield, just after midnight yesterdaywhen the 53-year-old landlady and four friends were enjoying a late night drink.

They forced the owner to open the safe and snatched the cash contents. The two men left by the back door but left the money and the knives on the floor as they made their escape on foot towards Bicknacre Road.

Both men were white, in their early twenties and slim with muscular upper bodies. They were wearing black clothes.

Just over a week ago, on September 28 at about 10.15pm, balaclava-clad robbers walked through the doors of the empty Rose and crown pub in Thorpe-le-Soken.

They forced a barman to the floor and held a 12-inch knife to his throat for around 15 minutes until landlady Helen Innes came downstairs to lock up.

When she saw the barman she was pounced on by the robbers, threatened her with the knife and then made off with £450.

The suspects were described as white and in their teens or early 20s.

On September 22, at 11.45pm, around £10,000 in cash and £30,000 worth of jewellery were stolen by knife-wielding robbers who raided The Lion in Mersea Road, Langenhoe.

They burst in and forced the manager, his wife and two of their friends to the floor, and then made them give them the contents of the safe.

On August 25, shortly after the last member of staff had left, armed raiders targeted the Swan Inn at Chapel, where they tied up manager Mark Bedlow, forced him to the floor and ransacked the office.

They took his safe keys and made off with a figure estimated at several thousand pounds.

A police spokesman said: "We shall be examining any similarities in descriptions and the method of operation in these cases to see whether there might be a link between them.

"We have now had a number of these offences which target pubs.

"While there is no direct evidence to link them at the moment, we will be looking at them to see if they may be committed by the same person or persons.

"We would caution licensees to be mindful of security and remind them not to allow anybody into private areas whose identities they are not totally happy with."

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