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Warning after string of robberies across Norwich

PUBLISHED: 18:15 21 January 2013 | UPDATED: 11:14 22 January 2013

Police have issued a warning after a string of robberies in Norwich.

Police have issued a warning after a string of robberies in Norwich.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

Detectives are seeking witnesses after a string of robberies in Norwich over the weekend, although police have stressed they are not believed to be linked at this stage.

The first happened at about 7.30pm on Saturday, in Woodcock Road. A woman in her early 50s was approaching the junction with Harmer Road when a man tried to pull her handbag from her right shoulder. When she wouldn’t let go, the mugger punched her right cheek and pushed her over before running off down Harmer Road. The handbag and most of the contents were later recovered.

The offender was more than 6ft and was wearing an all black parker/duffle type coat with a hood covering his face.

At about 10.50pm the same night, another robbery took place on Colegate near the junction with Magdalen Street. A man in his late 30s walked down Magdalen Street and passed a group of women on the opposite side of the road. He turned into Colegate where he was grabbed from behind and pushed to his knees by three men.

One man then demanded money while another pushed him right to the floor. The third man walked into the road in front of the victim and made another demand for money. The victim was kicked in the face before the offenders ran off towards Fye Bridge Street, having been disturbed by a group of people on the other side of the road.

The offenders were all men, white and slim and wearing dark coloured clothing. The first was in his early 20s, 5ft 10ins, with short brown hair and a beige coloured waist length jacket. The second was also in his early 20s with dark hair. He was wearing a dark jacket with a hooded top.

The next robbery took place at 5am on Sunday, when a man in his early 20s was confronted by two men at the top of Ketts Hill.

They demanded his phone and his wallet and punched him when he refused to hand them over. He stumbled into the road and fell, where his attackers kicked him before taking both items and walking off down Ketts Hill.

The victim suffered severe swelling and bruising to his face and grazing to his arms. His attackers were white, aged between 18 and 25 years old and approximately 5ft 9ins.

The final robbery happened in Cringleford ibetween 1.45am and 1.50am on Sunday when a man in his 40s, walking along Eaton Street was approached by two men who punched him in the face and stole his mobile phone.

Police are keen to trace the occupants of a white Vauxhall Vectra who were helped by a passing taxi driver after getting stuck in the snow. Police believe they may have information which assists the enquiry.

Detective Superintendent Neil Baily said: “There is no evidence at this stage to suggest that any of the incidents are linked and officers continue to follow a number of lines of enquiry.

“Violence has been used in all offences and I would urge people to be mindful of personal safety while walking in the city at night and into the early hours by staying aware of your surroundings, sticking with friends and avoiding shortcuts and unlit areas.

“People who commit offences of robbery must appreciate that when they are caught they are very likely to receive a substantial prison sentence – Norfolk Constabulary regards street robbery as extremely serious and all such offences are investigated by trained and experienced detectives who will pursue every possible line of enquiry including CCTV opportunities and forensic evidence.

“People who commit street robberies must understand that they stand a very good chance of being arrested, and if arrested they must be prepared to go to prison, because that is very likely to be the result of their offending.

“Local officers will be increasing patrols in the area affected to offer reassurance and I would encourage anyone with information to come forward.”

Anyone with information about the robberies should contact Norwich CID on 101, alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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