Women robbed in separate incidents

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TWO women were robbed as they walked alone.

At 3.40am on Sunday, a 49-year-old woman was walking along Larch Grove, Atherton, when she was approached from behind by two men.

One of them was holding an orange plastic BB gun and demanded she gave them her handbag. Fearing for her safety she gave it to them and the men ran off in the direction of Brierfield Avenue.

Later that night at around 10.15pm, a 46-year-old woman was walking on Hillside Avenue when she heard footsteps from behind. As she turned, she noticed a man was walking behind her so slowed down to let him walk past her.

She was grabbed by the shoulder and forced to the floor before he stole her handbag and ran down an alleyway that led to the Hag Fold estate.

The two men from the first robbery are described as being white, of slim build and wearing grey hooded tops with the hoods pulled down to cover their faces. One was around 5ft 7in tall, the other 5ft 5in tall and both spoke with local accents.

The man in the second robbery was wearing a grey hooded top.

Detective Constable Darren Reid from Wigan East INPT said: “Due to the similarities in descriptions of the offenders and the close proximity of both crimes, we believe that the incidents are linked.

“Fortunately both victims were not hurt but they have been left affected by what happened and their confidence has been knocked. In the case of the second robbery, the victim was physically forced to the floor.

“I would urge anyone who is walking on their own, particularly at that time of night or morning, to be aware of their surroundings and try to stick to areas that are well lit. I would always advise to walk in a group or order a taxi so you do not put yourself in a potentially vulnerable position.

“Anyone with information as to who is responsible for these robberies should contact police as soon as possible on 0161 856 7426 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”