Man jailed for his part in series of armed robberies in Wigan

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A man who left staff and customers fearing for their lives during a trio of armed robberies in Wigan has been jailed.

Dylan Rawlinson of North Avenue, Leigh was imprisoned for nine years and three months after pleading guilty to his part in the offences.

The first robbery took place at McColls Convenience Store in Hindley in November 2020, just seconds after the store opened for the day.

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Armed with a sledgehammer and wooden pole, Rawlinson – together with two other men – forced a member of staff to open the safe, while also raiding the tills and cigarettes.

Dylan RawlinsonDylan Rawlinson
Dylan Rawlinson
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The 24-year-old struck again a moth later at the One Stop shop on Chestnut Avenue in Leigh.

Witnesses described three men entering the shop, hiding their identities behind balaclavas, and who were brandishing a sledgehammer and wooden-handled axe.

Unable to breach the safe due to it being on a timed lock, the shop’s tills and cigarette display were targeted, before one of the witnesses was attacked with the axe.

Rawlinson, together with the two other men (not thought to be the same at the previous robbery), made their escape just six minutes later.

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The downfall of Rawlinson came during an armed robbery at the Co-op on Haigh Road, Aspull in June 2021.

Witnesses described three men parking their vehicle in the car park of the store before entering and forcing a member of staff to open the safe.

Armed with a sledgehammer and crowbar, they also removed cigarettes from behind the counter and forced their way into the tills.

Police recovered the getaway vehicle on Abbey Lane in Leigh a short while after and pursued the men on foot onto nearby wasteland.

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Rawlinson was apprehended as he tried to escape over a fence and was arrested on suspicion of robbery.

DC Matt Higham of Wigan Challenger, who led the investigation said: “This was a complex investigation which resulted in a sentence that reflects the level of aggression and violence Rawlinson used when carrying out these robberies.

“Innocent shop workers feared for their lives when these men turned up at their places of business and forced them to hand over money, cigarettes and other valuable products.

“Everyone has the right to go about their day in a peaceful, non-violent way and getting these two men off the streets is a great result for GMP.

“We urge anyone who is concerned there is criminal activity taking place in their communities to get in contact with us and report it."