Robberies at Eastbourne betting shops being linked

DETECTIVES are linking the two robberies at betting shops in Eastbourne with two elsewhere in the county.

They believe the same person is responsible for an attempted armed robbery at Betfred in Cornfield Road on Sunday night, a raid at Ladbrokes in Gildredge Road the following morning and two in Brighton and Hove.

Eastbourne CID is now working closely with Brighton CID in an attempt to locate the suspect.

Detective Inspector Paul Phelps of Eastbourne CID said, “Due to a significant amount of intelligence and the modus operandi, we believe the same man is responsible for the two betting shop robberies in Eastbourne this week and the recent two in Brighton and Hove.

“In all but one robbery the suspect wore an array of disguises including false beards, sideburns and moustaches. He is also carrying what looks like an imitation black handgun.

“Although no staff or customers have been hurt, this is still a very frightening experience and officers have been visiting betting shops throughout Eastbourne and Brighton to offer support and advice.

“Enquiries are ongoing, including viewing CCTV, and we are keen to speak to anyone with information about these robberies.”

A female member of staff was threatened with what is believed to be an imitation hand gun at the first robbery at around 8.50pm at Betfred.

The woman managed to run into a back room, locked the door and the suspect left empty-handed. The following day at 8.40am the same man walked into Ladbrokes, pointed a hand gun at a male member of staff and made off with a sum of money. Police believe the same man is responsible for the attempted robbery of William Hill Bookmakers in Hove, on Thursday July 7 and also for the robbery at Ladbrokes in Brighton on Monday July 11 when he made off with between £400 and £500.

The suspect is described as white, between 5’ 11’ and 6’ 2’, of medium to large build with a bald or shaven head which is often covered by wigs or hats. In all offences, except the most recent Eastbourne one, the suspect was carrying a bag, believed to be either a rucksack, shoulder bag or drawstring bag.

Anyone who has information regarding the robberies or recognises the suspect is asked to call Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999 quoting Operation Shelley.