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Police release CCTV image following spate of robberies in Bognor

Date Added30 August 2013 15:50
ReferencePR43298/2013
LocationArun
Press officer
Telephone01273 404173
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Police have released an image of two men they would like to speak to in connection with three robberies which are believed to have been carried out by the same offenders in the Bognor Regis area.

The first incident happened at about 1am on Sunday (25 August) on Felpham Esplanade, adjacent to Longbrook (near Sea Lane), when a 44-year-old man was approached by two men as he walked home from Bognor.

They asked him if he had any money before assaulting him by punching him to the floor and kicking him, causing cuts and bruises to his face and head. He managed to escape without anything being stolen but required hospital treatment the next day for his injuries.

The second incident happened later the same day at 9.13pm in The Midway, Felpham. An elderly man was startled when a blanket was put over his head after his house was broken into whilst he was in bed.

It is believed that more than one person was present and, in a threatening manner, they demanded to know where the 86-year-old victim's money was. They then searched his home and left with a cordless telephone handset, radio controlled wrist watch, digital radio and £10 cash.

The following day at 12.32pm two men followed an elderly woman into Fitzleet House, Queensway, Bognor, and got into a lift with her. The lift went up one floor and as the pair got out they grabbed hold of the 85-year-old victim's handbag. 

The pensioner, who has limited mobility, attempted to keep hold of it but she was pulled from the lift and onto the floor. The two men made off with the bag and its contents which included a purse and cash. The victim sustained bruising to her elbow.

DS Michelle Auger, from The Priority Crime Team, said: "CCTV images for the second two offences show the same two men in the relevant areas at the relevant times. The descriptions are similar those given by the victim of the attempted robbery on Felpham Esplanade, and two of the victims described the men has having foreign accents.

"It's vitally important that we speak to them as soon as possible as part of our enquiries into these offences so we can get an account from them.

"In the robberies, both victims were elderly and vulnerable. The first was attacked in his own home and had a blanket thrown over him before he was threatened; the second was subjected to violence as she was pulled out of the lift. Understandably, both were extremely upset and distressed by their ordeal.

"If anyone recognises the two men in the image released - the one in the front also had a personal radio clipped to the front of his jeans - then we would urge them to call police as soon as possible on 101, quoting serial 0838 of 30/08 or email contact.centre@sussex.pnn.police.uk. Alternatively call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111."

Police are also investigating two recent burglaries, which may be linked to the robberies.

The first happened at Downview Road, Felpham, some time between Thursday 22 August at 5pm and last Saturday (24 August) at 2pm. The offenders forced open the back door and, having gained entry, carried out an untidy search before stealing property, including electrical goods.

About 9.45pm on Saturday (24 August) another break-in took place, in Admirality Road, Felpham. On this occasion the burglars tried to force open a back door before using a spade from the property to open the front porch and then smash the front door window. Once inside they made a search and stole electrical items.

Whilst at the property, the victim returned home and disturbed the pair, who then fled. Despite an immediate area search by police, they were not found.

"These burglaries happened at a similar location and time to the other offences we are investigating so we cannot rule out the possibility of them being linked," added DS Auger. "Extensive enquiries are being carried out by officers and we are following up numerous lines of enquiry to try and find those responsible.

"We understand that local people will be concerned about the offences that have been committed. I would like to take this opportunity to stress that these types of crimes are extremely rare in this area and wish to reassure the community that local officers are doing all they can, including increasing patrols in the Felpham area.

"We would ask members of the public who were in the areas of the various offences to cast their minds back to the relevant times and to contact us immediately if they think they have any information, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem."

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