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Issue:- 17 April 2014



MERSEYSIDE Police Detectives have released CCTV  of 2 men they are hunting after they robbed a family business in Bootle. The 2 offenders appear in the footage brandishing a metal coat stand and an iron bar which they used to smash the protective screen in Donna's convenience store in Hawthorne Road. At 1 point, the owner of the shop was nearly struck on the head by the offenders as he tried to lock the door separating the customer area from the counter and back office. The man and his wife, who are both local to the area, escaped injury and managed to activate the store's panic alarm before retreating into the back office. The 2 offenders removed the till before running out of the shop, across Hawthorne Road into Mill Road. Detectives believe the offenders then left the area in a silver car. The offenders stole £400 in cash from the till yet face around 6 years imprisonment if arrested and convicted of robbery and possession of an offensive weapon. Detective Constable Kevin Reppion from Sefton CID said the offenders wore distinctive sportswear and hopes someone might recognise them from their clothing, build or gait.

He said:- "This was a terrifying incident for the couple who run this business. This is popular, well used shop run by a local, hard-working family. They are simply trying to make a living yet have suffered the ordeal of 2 criminals coming in brandishing weapons and stealing their takings. The 2 offenders were extremely aggressive and the CCTV shows their total disregard for the victims themselves. It is only through sheer good fortune that the gentlemen who is trying to shut the security door is not seriously injured by the offender wielding the coat stand. Thankfully neither victim was hurt, but both have been left distressed by what happened and I am calling on the local community to help us catch these offenders before they can commit further offences against decent, hard-working people."

The robbery happened at 8.30pm on Thursday, 3 April 2014, following the 1st day of the Aintree festival when many people will have been in the area having a drink or visiting a local bookmakers ahead of Ladies Day.

The force is currently cracking down on robberies against local businesses and Chief Inspector Jenny Sims is leading the operation. She said:- "Robberies against local businesses greatly affect the hard working people who own and work in them, as well as their customers who are local people themselves. The perpetrators of these robberies care nothing for their victims, only for what they can steal from them. Merseyside Police works with businesses to ensure they have comprehensive CCTV systems and other security measures to deter such crimes. These measures also aid in the police when it comes to catching the offenders, such as the 2 men in this case. The technology alot of stores have allow staff to alert the police while the incident is in progress, and business owners are increasingly keeping only small amounts of cash on site, meaning criminals are risking many years behind bars for the sake of just a few hundred pounds. My question to them would be: 'Is it worth it?"  Call DC Reppion at Sefton CID on:- 0151 777 3823 or Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 555 111.

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