In Brief

09 February, 2007

Jail for armed gang

A gang who netted an estimated £10,000 by raiding off-licences in the south London area has been jailed by Guildford Crown Court. The three-man gang got sentences of between three and seven years after admitting a series of armed robbery charges. The court heard a Threshers shop in Caterham, Surrey was robbed twice during the gang 's six-month spree.

Machete suspect arrested

A 23-year-old man from Dereham, Norfolk, has been arrested on suspicion of robbing a pregnant off-licence worker on Jan 29. A man threatened Gemma Diduca with a machete at The Local in Dereham market place before running off with cash from the till.

Eight years for crime spree

A man who carried out 18 armed robberies at off-licences, betting shops and post offices last year has been jailed for eight years. Shaun Partleton, of Purley Oaks, Surrey, went on a six-month crime spree targeting businesses in Lambeth. He was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police's Operation Vanguard and sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on Jan 19.

Shopworkers held in seige

Two sales assistants at a drinks shop in Dundee were ordered to empty the till by a man who said he had a weapon. Irza Saeed and Hasiem Chughtai were kept under siege by a man for about five minutes at a branch of the Cheers off licence on Jan 27. He claimed he had a weapon in his pocket, but fled empty-handed when Saeed set off the alarm by pressing the panic button.

Objections to McColl's

Residents and shop staff in Epping, Essex, are protesting against an application from a branch of Martin McColl's to sell alcohol. Th ey include a Co-op manager who says there are already enough off-licences and pubs in the area . Protestors are also concerned about gangs of youths congregating outside the shop. Martin McColl's has applied to sell alcohol from 6am to 8pm every day and says it will operate the Challenge 21 scheme and install CCTV.

Appeal for witnesses

A shop worker was hit over the head by a masked man as he forced his way into the store where she worked. The woman was assaulted with a weapon as she opened The Local in Benchill, Greater Manchester on Jan 26. After pushing the woman back into the store, the robber stole the shop's takings and ran off. Police are appealing for information on the incident.

Samurai raider sought

Police in Merseyside are searching for a man who brandished a samurai sword at staff at an off-licence in Thatto Heath before stealing cash from the till. The masked offender used a mountain bike to wedge the door of the shop open . He escaped on the bike following the incident on Jan 23 at about 9.40pm.

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