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Police are appealing for witnesses after two taxi drivers were attacked and robbed in separate incidents in Portsmouth.
Detectives are linking the offences which happened within hours of each other on Church Road, Fratton overnight Friday,
The first driver, 27, with Aquacars, was robbed around 10.45pm by two men he had picked up earlier.
They arrived on Church Road, the men attacked him and demanded he hand over his takings. The driver gave them the money and managed to escape.
The man in the back got into the driver’s seat and drove the car a short way down the road towards Fratton Road before abandoning it. The car was later recovered by police on Church Road and returned to the taxi company.
The second driver, 27, with Elite Cars, was robbed around 3am in the early hours of Saturday also by two men he had picked up earlier.
They assaulted him when they got to Church Road and forced the driver to hand over his takings.
The men got out of the car and threw the keys into the road before running off down Lords Street.
From the victims’ account, the offenders are described as:
Both white men in their 20s
One had blonde hair, one had dark hair
Both were between 5ft 10ins and 6ft tall, but one was slightly taller than the other
Both slim build
Detective Constable Annie Keir from Portsmouth CID said:
“Neither victim was seriously injured, but both have been very shaken by these vicious assaults.
“Our appeal is focussing on what happened on Church Road in both incidents. Did you see either taxi pulling up on the road or the suspects running off in either occasion?
“It’s also possible that the offenders dumped the taxi drivers’ cash bags in the vicinity, so if you’ve recovered them, I’d like to hear from you.”
“I’d also like to hear from anyone who knows who did this, or anyone who knows someone who returned home with a large amount of cash. All calls are treated in confidence.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact DC Keir at Fratton police station on 101 or 0845 045 45 45 from outside Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. You can also call the anonymous Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.