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Knife thugs' tour of terror in East Lancashire
KNIFE-WIELDING robbers struck fives times in one night in towns across East Lancashire.
Police said the victims were left extremely shaken by their ordeal at the hands of two men who demanded cash, mobile phones and gadgets.
One of the victims was a 70-year-old man who was punched in the face after he refused to hand over his valuables.
Others were searched at knifepoint during the 90-minute spree.
The first incident happened when a 22-year-old man was walking home alone along Cambridge Street, in Accrington.
As he reached the alleyway between Water Street and Sultan Street he was confronted by two men who demanded his phone.
He was then pushed against wall as they grabbed his phone and fled down the alleyway.
Forty five minutes later, at just after midnight yesterday, (mon) a 20-year-old man walking along Hyndburn Road, in Great Harwood, towards the junction with Whalley Road was targeted.
As he reached the junction, he noticed two men get out of a car stopped at traffic lights and walk towards him.
One of the men grabbed the victim and threatened him with a small knife before stealing cash and his chain from around his neck.
The third robbery took place shortly afterwards as a 70-year-old man walked past Padiham Town Hall.
Two men tried to talk to him before asking for money. When he refused one of the men punched him in the face knocking him to the floor while the other rifled through his pockets and stole his money.
Just 15 minutes later, two teenagers were walking home along Padiham Road, in Burnley, between Lakeland Way and The George IV pub when they were approached by two men, one of whom was holding a knife.
Both 18-year-old men were searched at knifepoint and the robbers fled with cash, a mobile phone and a PSP handheld gaming device.
The thieves ran up the grass verge and across the road towards the car wash and out of sight Then at around 1am, two teenage boys and a teenage girl were walking along Kiddrow Lane, towards Padiham Road, Padiham, when they were approached by two men, one holding a knife.
The men demanded they hand over their money before searching the victim’s pockets and stealing a wallet, a phone, a lighter and an IPOD.
The two thieves are described as white, in their early twenties, wearing blacked hooded tops and black shorts, possibly with motifs on the front and black as well as trainer like shoes.
Police are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen the men or any car they may have been driving.
Detective Inspector Marie Haworth said that the investigation was in its early stages but they were working on the theory that the incidents were linked.
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