POLICE are probing a possible link between a robbery and an attempted robbery at two Basildon stores in one day – each by a man wearing a makeshift mask.
In the first incident, in Wickford, a man went into the Co-op store in St Peters Terrace and tried to force open a till.
The man was confronted by a staff member and left without taking anything. That incident occurred at 7.20am on Sunday, July 16.
Just over an hour later, at 8.30am, a man entered the Martins shop in Whitmore Way, Basildon, and threatened a member of staff with a chisel.
He made off with a three-figure cash sum and some cigarettes. He fled towards the Jolly Fryer pub, then up the stairs to the flats above the nearby parade of shops.
An Essex Police spokesman said: “Officers are investigating whether or not the incidents are linked.”
In both instances, the man was described as white, slim, around 5’9” and wearing a ’dark-coloured piece of fabric over his face, with eyeholes cut out’.
He wore a dark blue fleece, blue jeans and dark trainers.
Anyone with information was urged to call DC Jodie Kinsley at Basildon CID by dialling 101.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.