COUNTY NEWS: Armed robber in Santa hat assaults staff member

Police have released footage of second store robbery showing an armed robber wearing a Santa hat threaten a staff member.

Police have released a second piece of footage
Police have released a second piece of footage

Detectives have renewed their appeals for information about two armed robberies of Co-op stores in Brighton just before Christmas.

It is hoped someone might recognise this man wearing a Santa hat who robbed the Co-op store in Saltdean on Tuesday, December 20, just days after the robbery of another store in Patcham.

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Police are considering if the offences are linked.

The man went into the shop in Lustrell Vale at 9.05pm and threatened a woman staff member with a kitchen knife, said a spokesperson.

He forced her to the store office, then grabbed another staff member there and made him open the safe, the spokesperson said.

During the incident, the female member of staff was assaulted, sustaining several broken ribs as a result, confirmed the spokesperson.

He stole more than £2,000, before running out of the store into School Lane and on to Chiltington Way, said police.

He was pursued by another staff member who heard him get into a car, believed to be a silver Ford Focus hatchback, which made off down Tremola Avenue towards the seafront, according to the spokesperson.

Police described the robber as white, between 5ft 9ins and 5ft 11ins, of stocky build.

He was wearing black jogging bottoms, a black North Face hooded top, a Santa hat with printed Santa feet on the top, a black scarf covering his face apart from his eyes and black gloves, said police.

He spoke with an accent, which was possibly either Liverpudlian or northern, police added.

Detective Inspector Andy Wolstenholme said: “This was a violent robbery which left the staff shaken and shocked.

“While I acknowledge the lack of facial detail in the picture will make it hard for the public to help, we are hoping by releasing the image that someone might remember seeing this man in the area looking suspicious or running away afterwards.

“It’s possible you may recognise him from his build or the way he moves.

“We would also be keen to keen to hear from anyone who has details of the car used to escape.

“We are considering if this offence is linked to another similar knifepoint robbery at the Co-op store in Old London Road, Brighton, on Friday, December 16.”

If you have any information about the incident, please report online to quoting serial 1403 of 20/12.

You can also email [email protected], call 101 or speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 (

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