Robberies in Worthing, Brighton and Hove linked, police believe

POLICE believe the same man may be responsible for recent mobile phone shop robberies in Worthing, Brighton and Hove.

The most recent robbery happened on Tuesday (August 16) at the Replay Exchange shop, Western Road, Brighton.

At around 9.25am the suspect entered the shop, armed with a hammer, and ordered the shop manager to get down on the floor while he was opening the shop.

He then jumped over the counter and grabbed several iPhones before making off in the direction of Churchill Square on a BMX-style bicycle.

The Replay Exchange robbery is being linked to a similar incident in Hove on Saturday, July 13, and in Worthing on Thursday, July 7.

The Worthing robbery took place at the Carphone Warehouse, Montague Street.

The manager was opening up the shop at around 9am when the suspect entered the store and threatened staff with a knife before stealing two mobile phones and riding off on a bicycle up Montague Street.

Detective Constable Scott Moore from Brighton and Hove CID said: “Due to the times of the robberies and the modus operandi, we believe all three may have been committed by the same man.

“Fortunately, no staff were injured but it is none-the-less, a frightening experience and all three shops have lost thousands of pounds worth of phones.

“Officers are conducting house to house enquiries and speaking to local businesses. We would like to advise mobile phone premises to please be alert when opening up in the morning. Dial 999 immediately if you see anyone acting suspiciously.”

The suspect is described as black, 5ft 5in to 5ft 7in, in his late teens to mid 20s, of thin build with very dark skin and short black hair.

During the Brighton robberry the suspect had two shaved lines on the left hand side of his head and in the Worthing robbery he was sporting a distinctive ‘chin-strap’ beard and thin moustache.

In the Hove robbery the suspect was wearing a grey hoodie, jeans, black trainers and a dark blue backpack.

During the Worthing robbery he was wearing a light grey woolly zip-up jumper, possibly with darker grey fur lining the hood, baggy light blue jeans, and trainers.

He was also wearing a ‘Russian’ style winter hat which had grey fur at the forehead and ear flaps, and tan coloured fabric covering the head.

Police would like to hear from anyone who has information regarding the suspect or has been offered mobile phones for sale. Please call on 0845 60 70 999 quoting serial 0364 of 16/08 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.