Two masked men armed with a gun held up a Sheffield supermarket in the latest in a series of terrifying raids across the city.
They struck at the Spar and GT News store on Twentywell Lane, Bradway, while a lone member of staff worked.
The men, whose faces were covered, escaped with cash from the till after threatening a member of staff with a black handgun.
The raid happened a week after two armed men escaped with cash from Sunbeams Tanning Studio on Greenhill Main Road, in neighbouring Greenhill. Detectives are refusing to rule out if the two incidents are linked to a series of armed raids at supermarkets in Sheffield, which they admitted were ‘creating unrest’ among traders.
They believe the same two men were responsible for five raids committed in recent weeks.
But Det Sgt Dave Ollerenshaw said: “We are still investigating if the latest robbery is linked.
“It appears to be a very similar MO to previous jobs but that is not to say they are linked. It may well be a different set of people.
“My advice to businesses would be not to leave staff alone because they seem to be targeting shops that have lone staff in.
“It would be prudent to have two members of staff working and be conscious of people coming in who maybe concealing their identity.”
Police are linking five robberies – at the Spar on Ringinglow Road, Bents Green, at the Co-op on Derbyshire Lane, Norton Lees, at the Spar on Ecclesall Road South, Ecclesall, and two at Sainsbury’s in Bradway.
Matthew Hutchinson, manager of the Spar on Ringinglow Road, said after the latest raid: “It is really panicking everyone that these robberies are happening so often.
“Everyone is thinking is when is it going to happen again.
“I know the police are doing all they can and have stepped up patrols but it does need to come to a stop because these robbers are terrorising people.
“The fact that they are armed with a gun is worrying and they need to be caught before it is too late.”
Coun Colin Ross, who represents Bradway on Sheffield Council, said he plans to raise the crime wave with local police officers at a meeting on Monday.
“The incidents in Bradway have all been committed at business premises very close to each other and I wonder if it is because they are on a main road close to the Bochum Parkway, so they can make their getaway quickly
“Generally crime is going down so it is a surprise to get these offences all in one area and in such a short space of time.
“I have spoken to the Bradway Action Group about them and will certainly be raising it with the police at a meeting we have on Monday because residents need to know if there will be extra patrols and need some reassurance about what is being done.”
* Anyone with information about the latest raid at 7.35pm on Friday, February 20, should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.