POLICE are calling for public assistance to help solve two “cowardly” armed robberies in Camperdown.
In each case, a masked man threatened a female staff member with a weapon at separate supermarkets in the town.
Detective Sergeant Lee Porter, of the Warrnambool crime investigation unit, said investigators believed the robberies were connected.
“The incidents themselves are cowardly enough but the circumstances are even more deplorable as they were committed on lone female attendants,” Detective Sergeant Porter said.
In the first robbery on December 9, 2012, a man entered the IGA supermarket’s liquor section via a rear car park about 4.15pm.
He was wearing dark clothing and a black balaclava and was armed with a weapon described as a machete. The man demanded cash from the staff member, threatening her with the weapon and telling her to “hurry up”.
The woman opened the cash register till and stepped aside to allow the man access.
“He has then walked around the counter and removed a quantity of cash from the register before stealing a bottle of spirits and then exiting the IGA in the same direction that he had come from,” Detective Sergeant Porter said.
He said it was believed that the male offender fled the scene via a laneway that led to the supermarket’s service and goods delivery area.
“A witness has since come forward and stated that a car was heard to leave the laneway after the offender ran through, leading investigators to believe that the masked male was not operating alone.”
In the second incident, on Saturday, June 1, 2013, a man wearing a white homemade balaclava, a dark blue jumper, blue track pants and red shoes entered the Foodworks Supermarket in Brooke Street about 4.36pm via the front door.
He walked directly to the centre console area where a female attendant was working at a cash register and produced a large kitchen knife with a blade approximately 20 centimetres long.
The male waved the knife, menacing the woman and making demands for cash. She opened the cash register and the offender removed a quantity of cash before fleeing the store.
Detective Sergeant Porter said police were now calling for assistance from the public as investigations into both robberies continued.
He urged anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.