Attempted robbery at Crawley newsagents

POLICE are seeking witnesses to an attempted robbery at a Crawley newsagents, the second such incident there in two weeks.

At about 3.45pm on Monday February 6 a man went into Martin’s newsagents in Furnace Parade, Crawley. He produced a knife, began to climb the counter and threatened a member of staff. However staff raised the alarm and passers by outside rang the police. The man then ran off down an alleyway at the rear of the shops. Nobody was injured and nothing was stolen.

The man is described as black but lighter skinned and possibly Asian, about 5ft 11in and wearing a light brown or beige jacket with the fur-lined hood pulled up, with possibly a grey hooded top underneath, dark tracksuit bottoms with white lines up the sides. He also had a light brown scarf, pulled over his lower face.

At 3.30pm on Tuesday 24 January a man of similar description had gone into the shop, and was served with two packets of cigarettes. He made to leave without paying and, when challenged by the manager, demanded money.

The manager dialled 999 and the man left, taking some more cigarettes as he did so. The manager was shaken but unhurt. The man did not produce or refer to any weapon and although there were several other customers in the shop at the time he did not approach them.

Police immediately went to the scene and searched the area but the man was not found.

Detective Sergeant Steve Tattersall said; “We believe that the same man may be responsible for both offences and we ask anyone who was in the Furnace Green area on Monday afternoon and who saw this man, either loitering outside beforehand or running away down the rear alleyway afterwards, to contact us via 101 quoting serial 0957 of 6/2. You can also call independent charity Crimestoppers via 0800 555 111.”