Four arrested in robberies investigation

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DETECTIVES investigating five robberies that occurred in East Lancashire overnight between Sunday and Monday have arrested four men from Pendle.

a 25-year-old man from Nelson and three men from Colne aged 20, 23 and 25 from Colne have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit robbery and are currently in custody being questioned.

Police said at approximately 11-10pm on Sunday, a 22-year-old man was walking home alone along Cambridge Street, Accrington. As he reached the junction of the alleyway to Water Street and Sultan Street, he was confronted by two men who demanded his phone. They pushed him against wall and then stole his phone and fled down the alleyway.

A short time later, at around 12-05am, a 20-year-old man was walking home alone along Hyndburn Road, Great Harwood towards the junction with Whalley Road. As he reached the junction, he noticed two men get out of a car that had stopped at the traffic lights. The men walked towards him, grabbed the victim and threatened him with what appeared to be a small knife before stealing cash and his chain from around his neck.

Around five minutes later, a 70-year-old man was walking past Padiham Town Hall on Burnley Road when he was approached by two men on foot. They engaged him in conversation and asked for money. When he refused, one of the men punched him in the face knocking him to the floor. The other then rifled through his pockets and stole his money.

The fourth incident took place at around 12-20am, when two 18-year-old men were walking home along Padiham Road. They were approached by two men one of whom was holding a knife. Both men were searched at knife point and the robbers fled with cash, a mobile phone and a PSP handheld gaming device.

Shortly afterwards, two teenage boys and a teenage girl were walking along Kiddrow Lane towards Padiham Road. They too were approached by two men, who demanded money and property and searched the victim’s pockets before making off with a wallet, a phone, a lighter and an Ipod.

In each of the cases, the men have been described as white, in their early twenties, wearing blacked hooded tops and black shorts, possibly with motifs on the front and black training shoes/boots.

Detective Inspector Marie Haworth said: “We are still at the early stages of the investigation and although it is too early to tell whether these incidents are definitely linked, we are considering that possibility.

“Fortunately, none of the victims were seriously injured but were all left extremely shaken by their ordeal and so I would urge anyone with any information to come forward and contact us as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information can contact police by calling the new non-emergency number 101. Alternatively, information can be passed via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.