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7 January 2011, 14:28 | Updated: 7 January 2011, 14:40
Four men have been arrested in connection with a series of armed robberies in Milton Keynes.
They've all taken place at shops in the New City since November.
During each of the robberies a group of between two and five men have threatened staff witth a knife and, in some cases, what's thought to be a handgun. They've then taken cash, cigarettes and alcohol.
The most recent incident was on Wednesday 5th January, at the Londis store in Annersley Road in Newport Pagnell at about 8.30pm. The cashier was threatened and then locked in the store room of the shop. He was found after members of the public heard banging coming from the room.
The other robberies have taken place at the Post Office store in Bradwell Road, Bradville (18th Nov), Tesco Express in Holst Crescent, Old Farm Park (16th Dec), the General Handy Store in Oldbrook Boulevard, Oldbrook (17th Dec) and at Handy supermarket in Brookside, Hodge Lea (3rd Jan).
The offenders are all black and were wearing dark clothes, with the bottom half of their faces hidden.
Det Insp Neil Dodds, leading the investigation, said:
“We believe that the offenders are visiting the stores they want to target before the robbery takes place. I would ask members of the public and people working in local stores to report any suspicious behaviour in or around the store to police. We would also like to hear from anyone who may have witnessed these crimes or saw the offenders making their getaways.
“I would like to stress that nobody has been physically injured during these robberies and our neighbourhood teams and crime prevention officers are visiting stores across the city to give security and safety advice to staff. The message is a simple one: be extra vigilant, report any suspicious behaviour to police and most importantly, if a robbery is in progress be compliant and don’t risk your own safety for the sake of the business.
“As part of the investigation we are looking at other similar offences outside of Milton Keynes and liaising with neighbouring Forces to catch the people responsible and bring them to justice.”
The men who have been arrested on suspicion of robbery are currently in police custody.