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18 August 2011, 14:16
Detectives have released an e-fit of a man suspected of committing two mobile phone shop robberies in Brighton and Worthing.
The most recent Brighton robbery happened on August 16 at the Replay Exchange shop, Western Road, Brighton. The suspect entered the shop, armed with a hammer at around 9.25am just as the shop manager was opening up and ordered him to get down on the floor. He then jumped over the counter and grabbed several iPhones before making off in the direction of Churchill Square on what is described as a BMX styel bicycle.
The Replay Exchange robbery is now being linked to a similar incident in Hove on Saturday 13 July. At around 12.30pm the suspect walked into the Carphone Warehouse in George Street. He threatened staff and used a pair of wire cutters to remove two mobile phones from the display before riding off on a bicycle.
The Worthing robbery happened on Thursday 7 July at the Carphone Warehouse, Montague Street. The manager was opening up the shop at around 9am when the suspect entered the store and threatened staff with a knife before stealing two mobile phones and riding off on a bicycle up Montague Street.
Detective Constable Scott Moore from Brighton and Hove CID said: "Due to the times of the robberies and the modus operandi, we believe all three may have been committed by the same man. Fortunately, no staff were injured but it is none-the-less, a frightening experience and all three shops have lost thousands of pounds worth of phones.
"Officers are conducting house to house enquiries and speaking to local businesses. We would like to advise mobile phone premises to please be alert when opening up in the morning. Dial 999 immediately if you see anyone acting suspiciously.
The suspect is described as black, 5' 5" to 5' 7", late teens to mid 20s of thin build with very dark skin and short black hair. During the Brighton robberry the suspect had two shaved lines on the left hand side of his head and in the Worthing robbery he was sporting a distinctive 'chin-strap' beard and thin mustache.
In the Hove robbery the suspect was wearing a grey hoodie, jeans, black trainers and a dark blue backpack. During the Worthing robbery he was wearing a light grey woolly zip up jumper, possibly with darker grey fur lining the hood, baggy light blue jeans, and trainers. He was also wearing a 'Russian' style winter hat which had grey fur at the forehead and ear flaps, and tan coloured fabric covering the head.