Robber armed with syringe targets store

POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a man carrying a syringe stole hundreds of pounds from a Hastings store.

The man, wearing a balaclava, went into West Hill Stores in Plynlimmon Road brandishing a capped hypodermic syringe, reached over the counter and grabbed the cash.

Susan Grainger, manager of the store, said: “He did have a needle but he wasn’t, as far as I know, waving it about. He came in and demanded the box with a blue lid but we don’t have one.”

She said the man leant over the counter and took bags of change which contained just under £300 in cash and the female member of staff had been left shocked by the incident, adding: “If it had been me I would have been upset by it all.” The incident took place at 7.40am and the robber, described as white and slim, fled on foot towards Whitefriars Road.

Detective Constable Dave Elcock said: “I need to speak to anyone who was in the area around the shop on Saturday morning and could have seen the robber outside the shop. We believe the man only pulled his balaclava on before he walked into the shop so people may have seen him acting suspiciously outside in the minutes beforehand.

“If you saw anything or know who was involved, please contact us.”

Two men from Hastings aged 35 and 48 have been arrested on suspicion of robbery and questioned before being released on bail until August 4.

Anyone with information should call 101 quoting serial 312 of 31/5, email or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.