An armed robber thought to be responsible for a string of ‘terrifying’ knifepoint raids in Doncaster is believed to have struck four more times.
The man, described as in his early 40s, held up four Doncaster shops in just two weeks, and police are now appealing for information from the public in a bid to catch a thief who is becoming one of the borough’s most wanted criminals.
Officers believe the man may also be behind four similar armed robberies just over the border in West Yorkshire that have taken place over the last week.
Now one of the armed robber’s victims is appealing to members of the public to help police catch the man who threatened her before he strikes again.
Beverley Bacon, of Balby, was working alone on an unusually quiet night at the Brookfield Filling Station in Hampole Balk Lane, Skellow, when a man burst into the shop, armed with a knife and attempting to cover his face with the hood of his jacket.
Mrs Bacon describes the experience as ‘scary’ and adds that knowing he has been caught would help her sleep again.
“He walked past the window, and at first I didn’t think anything of it. But then as soon as he came in he brought the knife out,” said Mrs Bacon.
The 46-year-old added: “He said ‘open the till’ and so I did what he asked and handed him over the money straight away.”
“He came and took the money with his left hand, and was still holding the knife in his right hand.”
“That was my first reaction - to do what he wanted because I didn’t want to wind him up.
“As he went to walk out he must have counted the money because he came back and said that what I’d given him wasn’t enough.”
“I was shaking and started counting up pound coins to give him.”
“One of our regulars drove on to the forecourt which must have scared him off because he walked out and pulled down his hood.”
“I rang the police and the customer went to look for him but he had gone so must have had a car waiting for him.”
The mum of two says she has felt scared since the robbery took place, and would be able to sleep better if the armed robber was caught by police.
Despite being scared Mrs Bacon has not taken any time off from work, due to worries over staffing levels, but has brought her 18-year-old son, Bradley Bacon, in to watch over her on night shifts.
Police say the armed robber has been described as being short and stocky with dark hair that is balding.
The robbery took place on Saturday, August 16 and came just three days after a similar robbery at the One Stop Shop in Skellow on August 13.
Similar knifepoint robberies also took place at the Bargain Booze in Station Road, Thurnscoe on August 11 and the Bargain Booze in Great North Road, Woodlands on August 9.
He is also understood to have targeted shops in similar circumstances in nearby South Kirby, Ackworth and Castleford areas of West Yorkshire between August 21 and 22.
Detective Constable Matt Dixon said: “These incidents would have been terrifying for the victims and we are doing all we can to try to find the person or people responsible and bring them to justice.”
“We are working with our colleagues in West Yorkshire Police to determine whether a number of similar offences that have taken place in recent days in West Yorkshire are linked to the offences in Doncaster.”
“I would urge anyone with information about the robberies to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.