West Mercia Police are investigating two, possibly linked, armed robberies at service stations in Telford and Much Wenlock on Saturday 27th September.

At around 9.15pm, three men entered the Shell Garage on Holmer Farm Road, Stirchley in Telford. They were masked and wearing their hoods up. One of the men kept watch by the main entrance, while two others armed with weapons, approached the front counter.

They were abusive and aggressive and made the garage attendant lie on the ground, while raising the weapons in a threatening manner. They took a quantity of cigarettes to a waiting vehicle.

Half an hour later, at 9.45pm, a second armed robbery took place at Wheatland Services on Bridgnorth Road in Much Wenlock.

Three men entered the shop, at least one of whom was armed with a weapon. They used threats of violence to steal cigarettes and a woman working in the shop sustained injuries to her arm, after she was pushed to the ground. They then made off in a silver vehicle towards Bridgnorth.

Witnesses to the second incident described the first offender as white, around 5”11 to 6” tall with a pointed nose, small eyes and black eyebrows.

The second man was described as being shorter than the first man. He was white, of slim build and wearing a grey fleece top with a zip up the front. His face was covered up to his nose. Witnesses were unable to give an accurate description of the third man, other than to say he was shorter than the first man.

Sergeant Chris Haslam said: “Incidents of this nature are rare, and it is even more unusual to have two similar incidents so close together. We are pursuing all lines of enquiry to trace the offenders, and would urge anyone who saw anything suspicious at either site, around these times on Saturday night to contact police.

“We are also interested in any suspicious vehicles seen around the time of the robberies. We are particularly keen to trace a silver VW Golf and a silver / grey Subaru Forrester estate type vehicle.

Anyone with information is urged to contact police on 101 quoting incident number 792 and 812 of 27th September. Alternatively information can also be passed on anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111 or via their website www.crimestoppers-uk.org