Police hunt hammer-wielding robbers in Preston

File photo dated 18/11/11 of police tape at a crime scene, as the Office for National Statistics said that there was a 16% fall in the number of crimes against households and adults in England and Wales in the year to June 2014. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday October 16, 2014. See PA story CRIME Figures. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire
File photo dated 18/11/11 of police tape at a crime scene, as the Office for National Statistics said that there was a 16% fall in the number of crimes against households and adults in England and Wales in the year to June 2014. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday October 16, 2014. See PA story CRIME Figures. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire
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Detectives today appealed for information following two terrifying robbery incidents involving hammer-wielding thugs.

Around 2.20am on Sunday October 25, a 49-year-old man was walking in Greenbank Street, Preston, when he was approached by two males, one carrying a claw hammer and one carrying a small knife. The pair took a Motorola mobile phone valued at £100 from the man before leaving the scene.

Both men are described as being white, aged between 19 and 20 and wearing dark clothing.

At around 3am on the same day a 20-year-old man and a 23-year-old man were walking home when they were approached by two males in the car park behind Spar in Plungington Road.

The 23-year-old man was followed by one of the males who pulled a claw hammer from his jacket pocket and held it to the victim’s head, urging him to hand over his wallet, which he did. The offender then asked for his mobile phone, taking a black Iphone 4s. Both items are valued at a total of more than £220.

At the same time the second male pulled a knife from his pocket and pointed it at the 20-year-old telling him to hand over money. The victim handed over a small amount of cash, before he was told to open his wallet, which was empty. The offender then asked the man to hand over his mobile phone and waved the knife in his face.

Both men ran away and the offenders left on bikes.

The first male is described as white, aged 17 to 21, 5ft 11in, clean shaven, wearing a black hoodie with a white reflective logo, woollen hat and black trousers. He was riding a navy mountain bike.

The hammer he was carrying is believed to be silver with a black rubber grip.

The second man is described as white, aged 18 to 22, 5ft 11in, with a moustache or beard, wearing a black hoodie and a scarf covering his face. He is believed to have a local accent and was riding a silver bike.

It is thought he was carrying a black 4in flick knife, slightly curved with holes down the edge.

Police believe the incidents are linked.

DC Caroline Turley of Preston CID said: “These individuals have committed these crimes in a short space of time so they may be desperate and more crimes could be committed if they are not caught very soon.

“Any information that could lead to the arrests of these individuals would be appreciated.”

Anyone with information about the first robbery is asked to call 101 quoting crime reference number SA1512306 of October 25.

Anyone with information about the second offence can contact officers on 101 quoting crime reference SA1512228. The third incident has been logged under SA1512225.

Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org