Merseyside Police detectives investigating an armed robbery and aggressive and racial threats to shop keepers in Birkenhead have arrested four males on suspicion of robbery, assault and public order offences, [today] Sunday, 7 January 2018.
A 19-year-old man from Rock Ferry, has been arrested on suspicion of affray, robbery and assault. A 14-year-old male from Rock ferry, a 15-year-old male from Prenton, and a 16-year-old male from Rock Ferry have been arrested on suspicion of affray, robbery, assault and racially aggravated public order offences.
All four have been taken to a police station for questioning by detectives.
Merseyside Police detectives were called after an armed robbery and aggressive and racial threats to shop keepers in two separate incidents in Birkenhead on Sunday morning, 7 January 2018.
At around 10.10am, a call was received from a member of staff at the MRM store on King Street that two males had entered the location and made threats to staff. The males made demands for money and cigarettes and a bottle of alcohol was taken. Nobody was injured in the incident.
The males left on foot in the direction of New Chester Road on to Rock Lane East, entering the Everfresh store at approximately 10.20am, armed with a knife, where they racially and verbally abused staff.
The offenders are described as two males, both wearing facial coverings, with one in possession of a weapon described as a knife. One of the males is described as wearing a black bubble coat with grey lining inside the hood. The other male is described as wearing a black Canada Goose coat with white fur lined hood.
The males were then joined by another third male, and then made off in the direction of Rock Lane East, towards the river.
Forensic and CCTV enquiries are still ongoing to establish the full circumstances.
Detective Inspector Siobhan Gainer said: “The staff they confronted in both incidents were thankfully unhurt but understandably distressed having been threatened in such an aggressive way. We would also like to emphasise that hate crime will not be tolerated and Merseyside Police will continue to work hard so that those responsible for incidents of hate crime are brought to justice.
“We are still appealing to anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area today to contact us as part of this ongoing investigation. There may be members of the public who were passing in their vehicles and recorded dash-cam footage of males close to the shop or surrounding area, and any piece of information or footage, however small, may be vital for our investigation.
“I want to reassure all residents and businesses that incidents like this are rare and we will do everything possible to identify the offenders and bring them to justice, and ensure that Birkenhead continues to be a safe place to live, work and visit.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101. You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously and for free on 0800 555 111 or via their online form: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online.