Betting shops targeted
Dated: 09 Nov 2010
Police are appealing for witnesses after two Bookmakers were targeted in Gateshead.
At 1.56pm on Sunday, November 7 a man entered the Ladbrokes Bookmakers on Saltwell Road, Gateshead armed with what looked like a Pool Cue. He threatened staff and tried to steal cash before making-off empty handed down Hedley Street towards Bensham Road.
No one was injured, but three staff members were left badly shaken.
The man was described as aged in his mid 20s wearing a black hooded top.
A second Bookmakers robbery took place on Monday, November 8 at 10.35 at the Ladbrokes Bookmakers, Coatsworth Road, Gateshead.
A man ran into the shop armed with a metal bar and demanded money from staff. He managed to grab a small amount of cash before making off. Again he is described as wearing dark clothing.
Police are keeping an open mind about whether or not these two robberies, and the one at Ladbrokes, Swalwell on October 26, are linked.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Warcup of Gateshead Area Command said: "We're not ruling out the possibility that the same people are responsible for these three robberies, however, I'm appealing for help from the public to find the people responsible.
"Thankfully, no-one has been injured, but such incidents can be very traumatic for the staff involved.
"I'd repeat that we work closely with betting shops across the region to make stores secure and ensure that practices are put in place that make it easier to catch offenders.
“People are mistaken in thinking there are large quantities of cash lying around in bookmaker's shops; this is not the case. Bookmakers employ cash minimisation practices which mean there is very little cash in the store at any one time. This means that criminals who consider stealing from these premises and committing such a serious offence are risking long prison sentences for very little gain."
Anyone who witnessed these two incidents or has any information about them is asked to contact Northumbria Police 03456 043 043 ext 69191. Alternatively people can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.