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Machete gang in express-lane supermarket heist

Machete gang in express-lane supermarket heist

Mon July 30, 2012 7:19am

Police are searching for a gang who used machetes to threaten and rob staff at a supermarket in Melbourne's eastern suburbs.

Police will examine CCTV footage of a brazen supermarket robbery during which three men used machetes to threaten and rob cashiers in Melbourne’s east last night.

The robbery at a Woolworths store in the Blackburn North Shopping Centre is the latest in a string of similar crimes across Melbourne over the past five weeks.

Offenders have used weapons to steal cash at supermarkets and other businesses in Port Melbourne, Maribyrnong, Newport and Vermont South.

Police, who will hold a media conference at 1pm, are trying to determine whether the same gang is responsible for all the crimes.

Last night three men armed with machetes robbed cashiers at the express checkouts and liquor department of the Woolworths at the corner of Springfield and William roads, Blackburn North, about 6.45pm.

The  men, who covered their faces, escaped the scene in a light-coloured Subaru hatchback driven by a female accomplice. The vehicle had been stolen in Burwood two days earlier.

On June 16 five masked bandits used knives and meat cleavers to threaten and rob staff at a supermarket and bakery in Bay Street, Port Melbourne, in front of shocked mid-morning shoppers. Some customers filmed the offenders on their phones. The robbers fled the scene in a stolen sedan.

Two days later two men wearing hoodies and  masks brandished meat cleavers and demanded cash from staff at a Coles supermarket in Vermont South at 11.20pm. Three days later two supermarkets in Melbourne’s west — one in Newport and one in Maribyrnong — were robbed within a 20-minute period at lunchtime.

Police have appealed for anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via the website www.crimestoppers.com.au.

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