The senior detective investigating a number of armed robberies in Braintree area has made a renewed appeal for the community to come forward with information.
DCI Josie Hayes, of Essex Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, is leading the hunt to find the persons responsible for a string of robberies at stores. The suspects have threatened to use increasing levels of violence. Officers from Operation Scorpion, Essex Police’s team dedicated to disrupting serious and organised crime gangs, are working on the investigations.
DCI Hayes said: “There have been a number of incidents in the area over the past month and my team are working to establish whether or not the offences are connected.
“We will not tolerate people causing fear and threatening violence and we are confident that we will find the people responsible. The local community can play an important part in bringing these people to justice and I would urge anyone with any information about these incidents to come forward.”
The latest robbery happened at the Co-Op Store in the Broadway, Silver End, on Monday evening.
Three men entered the supermarket at around 9.50pm, pushed staff to the floor and demanded money from the safe. They were armed with a hammer and a pole and made off with a four figure sum of cash.
The staff were left shaken after the incident but were not injured.
The three men had their faces covered. One was wearing a green coat, dark bottoms and had a northern accent. The second man was wearing a black coat and the third man was white, was wearing dark baseball cap with a possible silver Nike tick on it, a thigh length blue coat, navy blue jeans and a white scarf with a blue pattern.
A 17-year-old man from Witham was arrested near the scene on suspicion of robbery and possession of drugs. He has been bailed pending further police enquiries until April 24.
The other incidents include:
• An armed robbery at the Co-Op in Abels Road, Halstead, at around 8pm on Tuesday, January 17. Staff were again forced to open the office safe and a four figure sum of cash was stolen.
• A robbery at the Great Yeldham Post Office on Thursday, January 5, which happened just before 5.30pm where a three figure sum of cash was stolen from staff who were threatened with hand axes.
• A robbery at the Chelmsford Star Co-Op in in Church Street, Braintree, which happened at about 7.50pm on Friday, December 16 where a three figure sum of cash was stolen from the till after staff were threatened with a crowbar.
Anybody with any information is asked to contact the Serious and Organised Crime Unit on Essex Police 101.
People can also give information to the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via an Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org