Robberies could be connected

Police have told Heart the four robberies that have taken place in a Thames Valley town in the past week may all be linked.


The incident happened at the shop in Portman Road at around 2am on 21st January. The offenders drove an old-style white Vauxhall Astra into the entrance door of the building. Two men, who had their faces covered, then got out of the car and went into the shop where they stole a quantity of cigarettes. They then returned to the car and drove away.

Det Insp Mark Tucker, from Reading CID, said:

“We are looking at links between this incident and one that happened at Tesco in Caversham last weekend, as well as the two other robberies that have happened at business premises in Caversham. We have a number of officers investigating these incidents and are actively pursuing a number of lines of enquiry. However, we need more information from the public and I am particularly keen to hear from anyone who saw a white Vauxhall Astra being driven suspiciously in this area of Reading in the early hours of this morning.Also, I would like to hear from anyone who has been offered suspiciously cheap cigarettes for sale in the past week.”  


The footage above was taken from cameras at Smiths News in Gosbrook Road, Caversham during a robbery on the evening of Wednesday 19th January.

Two men, who has their faces covered, entered the store and one of them started to assault the shopkeeper while the other filled a holdall with cigarettes from behind the counter.

The victim, a 27-year-old man, suffered head injuries in the incident and received treatment at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

Det Insp Mark Tucker, from Reading CID, said: 

“Clearly the man has gone to some lengths to try to protect his identity, but we believe that he is local and there might be someone in the community who recognises him or the clothes that he is wearing. This man seriously assaulted a shop worker during the incident and may well have had blood on his clothing afterwards.I urge anyone with any information about the identity of this man or the robbery to contact police or the Crimestoppers charity urgently."


The incident happened at Tesco Express, in Buckingham Drive, shortly after 2am. The offenders drove a car through the front glass panels of the store. Once inside the store they stole a small quantity of alcohol before smoke alarms were set off and they drove away.

Det Con Paul Jacobs, from Reading CID, said:

“We believe that a small red hatchback car was used in this burglary and I am keen to hear from anyone who saw a car matching this description acting suspiciously either before or after this burglary."


The incident happened at the Murco petrol station, in Lower Henley Road, between 12am and 12.15 am on Sunday 16th January. The victim, a 52-year-old man from Caversham, was locking up when he was attacked by two men who were wearing masks. The offenders dragged him around the side of the petrol station and continued to attack him until he lost consciousness. They then stole his keys and gained entry to the store where they stole money and cigarettes.

Det Con James Faulkner, from Reading CID, said:

“The offenders used an alarming amount of violence in this incident and the victim is very fortunate not to have suffered more serious injuries. He has severe bruising and swelling around his face but he did not suffer any broken bones. When he regained consciousness, the victim made his way to the nearby Traveller’s Rest pub where he reported the incident."

Anyone with any information should contact Reading CID via 0845 8 505 505.