A Wigan shop has beefed up its security following a wave of armed robberies across the borough, including two at a sister outlet.
McColl’s in Wallgate began operating a locked-door policy in the evenings, in a bid to prevent any similar crimes happening there.
The move meant that customers would have to knock on the door if they wished to enter, before being let in by a member of staff.
Although the Wallgate store has not been the victim of any raid attempts itself, the policy was implemented by regional bosses as a precautionary measure following a series of terrifying raids in the area, the majority of which were carried out late at night.
And among those hits was McColl’s sister store in Hindley Green which was raided twice in September and October last year.
On the first occasion it was hit by balaclava-clad thieves wielding claw hammers, who fled with nothing after frightened staff refused to hand over cash.
The same shop was again targeted a month later by three men carrying kitchen knives and hammers, who made off with a cash register and various other items.
The incidents were so similar that investigating officers believed the two attacks were linked.
More recently at an Asda store, also in Hindley, machete-wielding robbers left staff terrified after mounting a raid.
Employees told police how the three men entered the premises with a machete before stealing cigarettes and cash, and fleeing before the police arrived.
They were said to have been “frightened for their life” during the ordeal.
Cigarettes were also the loot of choice for two thieves who, just days ago, stormed into an Esso petrol station on Woodhouse Lane.
A spokesman for McColl’s declined to comment on the matter when contacted by the Wigan Post.