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Halloween robbery in Wigan by men wearing 'Scream' masks
Thursday 5th November, 2009

Robbers dressed in Halloween masks brandished a meat cleaver at staff and customers in a shop in Wigan.

At 9.25pm on Saturday 31 October 2009, a 24-year-old worker was cashing up while the 51-year-old owner was stacking shelves ready for closing.

A robber walked into the shop with a 6in meat cleaver in his hand.

He walked up to a customer, growled and made a sweeping movement with the cleaver towards the man's calf while demanding cash.

A second offender arrived and stood in the doorway and the customer who had been threatened walked out.

The robber with the meat cleaver then went up to the counter, brandished the weapon in the face of the worker at the till and demanded cash.

The worker froze in fear so the owner stepped up and handed cash to the robber, who also demanded two bottles of brandy.

Once he had been given both the cash and alcohol, the robber and his accomplice fled onto Gidlow Lane and disappeared across the children's play area.

The first robber is described as a white man, about 5ft 8in tall, of medium build and was bald or had a closely shaven head. He was wearing one glove on his right hand, a Halloween mask tied with a bandana, light (possibly grey) trousers and a dark long-sleeved top.

The second offender was described as 6ft tall and was wearing a black hooded top over with the hood up, a Halloween mask, dark clothing and bright white trainers.

The masks both men were wearing as described as being like 'Scream' masks.

Detective Constable Barrie Murphy, based at Wigan CID, said: "These masks can be very scary in the wrong hands and one of the offenders was also brandishing a meat cleaver, so it was a frightening experience for the victims.

"We are doing everything we can to find these men and I would like to reassure our community that it we do catch these men, we will throw the book at them.

"We know that this time of year there maybe concerns in our community about trick or treaters who wear costumes, but this is being treated as an isolated incident and I want the public to be reassured that this sort of thing does not happen often.

"I would appeal to anyone with information to come forward, and am particularly keen to hear from any members of the public who saw two men carrying or wearing these distinctive masks in the area at about the time of the robbery to call us."

Anyone with information is asked to call Wigan CID on 0161 856 7354 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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