Extra police officers flooded Doncaster town centre yesterday morning in a high-profile operation to deter armed raiders.
For more than three hours, police officers in high-visibilty uniforms were stationed on street corners and police cars were parked up near premises such as banks and jewellery shops.
A patrol car was also stationed outside the Antique and Bargain Stores shop in Market Place, which was robbed exactly a week ago.
Police Community Support Officers also took part in the operation, which started from before 8am and went on to until around 11am.
Senior officers said it was aimed at ‘reassuring’ the business community in Doncaster town centre.
The extra police presence aroused considerable interest among shoppers, who are not used to seeing such a large number of uniformed officers around town in the daytime.
“We were wondering what was going on, it made us feel something serious had happened and there might be a major scare,” said shop assistant Debbie Watson.
“There are some days when you hardly see any police in the town centre so it was very unusual.”
The robbery at the Market Place pawnbrokers was the second serious armed raid this summer.
Police have arrested five men in connection with the Antique and Bargain Stores raid, in which about £2,500 worth of cash and jewellery was taken shortly after 10.30am on July 29.
They have also issued a CCTV image of another man who made his getaway from the market area through The Black Bull pub.
Detectives are still investigating the raid at the Gary French jewellery shop on Clock Corner on May 31, when robbers brandishing a sword and another weapon threatened staff before making their getaway along Baxter Gate and through the market, forcing shoppers to jump to safety.
Det Insp Alison Griffiths, of Doncaster CID, said “This is part of an ongoing operation to provide reassurance to local shopkeepers following the robbery the previous week. Several arrests have been made but police enquiries are ongoing.”