Investigation after three robberies in one night

POLICE are investigating three robberies in Bellshill and Newarthill which took place within a few hours last Tuesday evening.

In the first, around 6.30pm, a 20-year-old man was walking on North Road, Bellshill, near to the Nisa store and Post Office, when he was approached by two men.

They threatened him with a bladed weapon before forcing him to hand over his mobile phone. The suspects made off towards Hilltop Avenue.

Then, at around 8.30pm, a 35-year-old man who was waiting at a bus stop on Main Street, Bellshill, directly opposite Bruce Medical Centre, was approached by two men. Again, the victim was threatened with a bladed weapon and demanded to hand over his mobile phone.

The two suspects made off in the direction of Muirmadkin Road.

The third incident occurred around 9.10pm on Carfin Road, Newarthill.

An 18-year-old man had just left the Nisa shop when he became aware of two men following him.

The suspects approached and threatened him, holding a bladed weapon to his body before taking his mobile phone and making off in the direction of Whittagreen Avenue.

The descriptions of the suspects in all robberies are similar. One is described as white, aged 16–20, 5’8”, slim and was wearing a grey or dark coloured hooded tracksuit with a scarf covering the lower part of his face.

The other is white, aged 16-20, 5’7” to 5’10”, slim and was wearing a dark coloured hooded tracksuit which may have had white stripes. Both were wearing their hoods up.

Detective Sergeant Craig Hosie, from Bellshill Police Office, said: “This was a very frightening experience for each of these men, who thankfully were not injured in the attacks.

“We need the public’s help to catch these men as soon as possible and I would urge anyone who was in any of these areas and saw anyone fitting the descriptions or acting suspiciously to contact the police.

“Although enquiries are at an early stage I believe the incidents may be connected.

“I would urge anyone with information to contact Bellshill Police Office on 01698 202400. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where information can be passed in confidence.”

lMeanwhile, a new robbery prevention scheme has been launched for local shops.

The campaign is led by Town Centre Activities and Strathclyde Police with all off-sales premises in North Lanarkshire, and every premise in Motherwell and Wishaw town centres, to receive a robbery prevention pack.

The kit contains items such as warning stickers, door chimes, attack alarms and height measurement charts.

Chief Inspector Glen Bland, area commander for Motherwell and Wishaw, said: “This is an excellent local business community initiative whereby we are all working together to keep our town centres safe for the community.

“The message to those intent on crime is that we will not tolerate this in our area and together we will target and arrest you.

“I fully support this initiative and believe that the items supplied as part of the robbery prevention pack can continue to minimise the number of robberies and maximise the opportunity for early detection if a robbery does occur.”