Balaclava raiders hit Littleport and Peterborough stores weeks after two post office raids in Cambs

BALACLAVA clad raiders held up a newsagent’s and post office at knife point today at 5am in Littleport – just 30 minutes before masked men raided a newsagent in Gunthorpe, Peterborough.

The raids come three weeks after two balaclava-clad men armed with a sword and crowbar were thwarted as they tried to rob the post office at Mepal near Chatteris.

On that occasion owner Gurdip Singh Jatana fought them off before they could steal any cash.

That robbery came three days after three masked men stole thousands of pounds from a post office in Bar Hill near Cambridge after terrifying a worker with a knife.

Today’s raid at Littleport happened as the assistant manager of McColls in Main Street was preparing early newspaper sales.

He was in the stockroom when two masked men burst in and threatened him with knives.

The offenders assaulted the man before making off with a quantity of cash. The men used a fluorescent yellow newspaper bag to carry the cash. It is thought they made off on bicycles.

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The victim was taken to hospital for treatment.

The offenders were both white, muscular and wore balaclavas and dark clothing. One was about 6’3’’, the other 5’11’’.

Detective Sergeant Phill Richardson, investigating, said: “This was a terrifying experience for the victim and I would urge anyone with information to call police.

“In particular we are keen to trace the fluorescent bag that was used to carry the cash, or the bicycles the offenders made off on. These may have been discarded and I would ask people to contact us if they find them in the area.

“I would also like to speak to anyone who saw people hanging around the back of the store in recent weeks, or who was in the area at about 5am this morning. A car was seen pulling up outside the store at about 5am to drop someone off, we are keen to speak to the driver or the person who was dropped off as they may have vital information to assist the investigation.

Anyone with any information should call DS Richardson on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

In Gunthorpe to the north of Peterborough two masked men stole money from a newsagent.

Two men, wearing balaclavas and carrying what has been described as a metal bar, entered the back of the shop in Gunthorpe at about 5.30am this morning.

They threatened and hit a member of staff over the head before stealing money and cigarettes. The victim received minor injuries.

One of the offenders is described as being 5’ 10”, stocky and was wearing a dark zip-up jacket and jeans.

The second was 5’ 10”, slim and was wearing a long, black woollen jacket and jeans and was carrying a blue/grey bag.

Both men were wearing balaclavas and blue gloves.

Detective Inspector David Liddle, investigating said: “This was a terrifying incident for the man who was opening his business following the New Year break.

“I would appeal for anyone who was in the area at the time to contact police.”

Anyone with information should contact DI Liddle on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.