Middleton in General Crime News
Appeal after botched robbery at store
A crow-bar wielding robber fled empty-handed following an unsuccessful attempt to break into the till of a Middleton store. At 7.25pm on Thursday 6 February, the offender, who was armed with a crowbar, entered Bargain Booze on Lakeland court while an accomplice stood guard.
Seeing what was happening, a woman who was working in the shop managed to lock herself in a rear office. Unperturbed, the offender leapt over the counter and tried to open the till. He fled empty-handed after failing to open the till.
The would-be robber who entered the shop was white, of stocky build, about 5ft 8in tall and was wearing dark clothing and a balaclava that covered his face. He spoke with a local accent. The second offender who stood guard was dressed in dark clothing and was wearing a balaclava also.
The shop assistant - a lone woman - was unhurt but left very shaken. Detectives are also keen to trace a male customer who was in Bargain Booze just before the attempted robbery.
Detective Constable Heidi Edge, said: “A man armed with a weapon has entered the shop while his accomplice stood guard and terrified a woman who was working alone at the time. Thankfully she was not injured but she was simply doing her job and should not have to deal with such mindless and thuggish thieves who think it is acceptable to use intimidation and violence to take what does not belong to them.
“If you were in the area or have any information about the offenders then please call us. We are also keen to speak to the man who left just as the offenders entered. We believe he was most likely aware that something imminent and untoward was about to happen and he is potentially an extremely important witness. If you are this person or know who he is then please get in touch.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8701, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Teen punched in robbery
A 14-year-old boy was punched in the face for his iPhone. At around 5.45pm on Friday 17 January, the boy was walking through Middleton town centre with his friends when they noticed they were being followed by two people on pedal bikes.
As they walked onto Morton Street, the offenders over took them and got in front of the group. Felling intimidated, they ran off but were followed. The victim was grabbed and punched before they took his mobile phone from his coat pocket and cycled off towards Lodge Street.
One of the offenders is described as being white in his mid to late teens, 6ft tall, of medium build, wore a grey tracksuit top with the hood up and a black gillet. The second is described as being black, in his mid to late teens, of skinny build, wore grey tracksuit bottoms and a black jacket.
Police Constable Steve Farnell said: “The bikes the offenders rode are described as being grey and black with one of them having a white tyre. This is fairly distinctive and I would ask anyone who may have seen the boy being punched or the teenagers riding off towards Lodge Street, to contact police. The actual offence took place outside a shop on Market Place.”
Cash stolen from petrol station
Two men wearing balaclavas stole money from a petrol station. The offenders walked into the shop at Hopwood Service station on Rochdale Road at around 7.25am on Monday 20 January and one of them jumped over the counter. Both demanded the staff member gave them money and they took cash from the till. Cigarettes were also stolen before the pair ran out on to a canal path, towards Middleton.
One man is described as being white, in his late 20s, 5ft 7in tall, of large build and wore dark clothing as well as a grey hat with red and blue stripes that covered his face. The second was white, in his mid 20s, 5ft 7in tall, of slim build and wore the same face covering as the first.
Detective Constable Donna Rollinson based at Rochdale Police Station said: “Although these men were not armed, they shouted at the shop worker to give them money, acting in a very intimidating way. Once they had got what they wanted, they left. Due to the time of the incident, there would have been a number of motorists either filling up their cars with fuel or going into the shop itself. If you saw anything suspicious, please phone police.”
Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 856 4087 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Efit released of man after girl was grabbed
Police have released an efit following after a ten-year-old girl was grabbed from behind. At around 4.25pm on Thursday 21 November 2013, the girl was walking on Higher Wood Street when she was approached from behind.
He grabbed her hand and tried to drag her. She fought him off and shouted at him before he ran off in the direction of Ennerdale Road. The girl was not hurt.
The man is described as being white, bald, in his 30s, of thin build and was wearing glasses. He wore a blue jumper, black tracksuit bottoms with white stripes down the side.
Detective Constable Dan Daly from Middleton INPT said: "Obviously members of the community will be concerned about this but we believe this is an isolated incident. Police patrols have been stepped up in the area to offer reassurance and I would advise residents to speak to their local officer should they have any worries.
"The victim managed to get a good look at the offender and has been able to help us create an efit. Do you recognise this person? Did you see him running away from the scene towards the Ennerdale Drive area? If you did, we are keen to speak to you."
Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 856 8701 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Man steals painkillers in knife-point robbery
A man leapt over a counter and threatened staff at knifepoint in order to steal painkillers. At 9.40am on Tuesday 31 December, a man went into Rowland’s pharmacy on Lakeland Court. He jumped over the dispensing cabinet and threatened a member of staff with a knife while demanding Co-codamol.
A quantity of the drug was handed over and the man ran off. He is described as white, 6ft tall, of slim build and was wearing dark clothing and a balaclava.
Detective Constable Michael Berger, said: “These drugs can be bought over the counter for very little cost so this man’s actions smack of desperation. A robbery is a robbery regardless of the value or quantity of items stolen and this is a very serious offence. If you were in the area and saw something of note or have any information about who is responsible please get in touch.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8701, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Two days' worth of takings stolen in robbery
Robbers stole two days’ worth of takings when they robbed a man in Middleton. At about 3.45pm on Friday 27 December, a 36-year-old man was en route to the bank with takings from a shop in Middleton shopping centre. As he walked along on Long Street two men jumped out of a 4x4 vehicle, punched the man in the face and grabbed the bag containing cash. The offenders got back in the vehicle, which was driven off by a third man towards Limetrees Road.
One robber is described as being 6ft 4in tall and of big build. The other was 6ft 2in tall and of average build. Both were wearing dark clothing. The victim went to hospital for treatment to facial injuries.
Detective Constable Mark Green, said: “The festive period is one of the key times of the year for shops on the high street so to have two full days’ takings robbed in the blink of an eye is obviously going to be keenly felt by the company and its staff.
“The vehicle and offenders were parked up near to the Barclays bank in Middleton and it is quite possible they were just waiting for an opportunity to target someone they knew would be depositing cash after Christmas. If you were in the area at the time and saw what happened or have any information about those responsible please call the police in confidence.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8701 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Man claiming to be a police officer targets elderly people
A man claiming to be a police officer has targeted elderly people in two incidents in the Rochdale area. At around 11.30am on Tuesday 5 November, a 75-year-old man answered a knock on his door to his Lewis Drive home in Heywood. A man, claiming to be from the police, walked into the hallway and told him that there was someone in his back garden. Realising the man was not an officer, the homeowner asked for ID and when it was not provided, told him to get out of his house. Nothing was stolen.
At around 1.20pm on the same day, a man knocked on the door of a house on Stanycliffe Lane, Middleton. When the 87-year-old homeowner answered, the man said he was a police officer and had arrested youths who had been found at the back of her house. He invited himself into her home and asked where she kept her valuables and money before taking a quantity of cash and left. Police have now released an e-fit of the man believed to be responsible for both crimes.
Detective Constable Dan Daly from Middleton INPT said: “Due to the similarities between these two crimes, we are linking them both. This man has purposefully targeted elderly people to get what he wanted. In the first case, he did not take anything but in the second crime, the victim felt intimidated and believed he was a police officer.
“I would like to remind people that all officers are more than willing to show their ID to members of the public and are happy for it to be checked out. The ID card itself bears a signature from the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police. I would ask anyone who recognises the image of the man in the e-fit or if anyone believes they have been a victim of this crime to contact police as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 856 8742 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Pair rob store
Robbers stole cash and a till during a raid on a Middleton store. At 9.20pm on Tuesday 5 November, two men entered Simply Drinks on Kirkway. Members of staff were in a back room when they entered and saw what was unfolding on the CCTV. They immediately shut the door and put their weight behind it to prevent the thieves entering. After trying to kick down the door, the two men snatched the till containing cash and fled. The men are only described as white and had their faces covered. One was armed with a crowbar.
Detective Constable Michael Berger, said: “The staff saw the events unfolding on CCTV so were able to take evasive action and barricade themselves in a back room. The offenders made a concerted effort to kick down the door, prompting the victims to use every ounce of strength they had to keep it shut and they are lucky not to have been seriously injured.
“Following the thieves unsuccessful attempts to get to the victims, they ripped the till from the counter and ran off and I want anyone with information about those responsible to call me. Were you in the area when this happened and did you see two men lurking around? Perhaps you saw them fleeing or have seen someone discarding a till somewhere nearby? If so we want to hear from you.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8701, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 5555 111.
Police issue footage of service station robbery
Police have released images of masked robbers who held up a motorway service station. It happened at about 11.15pm on Monday 30 September when two men went into the BP petrol station on the eastbound side of the M62 at Birch Services near Heywood.
One robber held the door open, while the other one male threatened the woman behind the counter with a machete. They then stole a quantity of cash from the till and left. The victim was uninjured. One of the robbers was dressed all in black while the one with the machete wore a grey hooded jacket.
PC Christopher Hickey, based at Middleton, said: "The woman was working alone in the petrol station when these violent robbers burst in. It must have been scary for her and I want to reassure her that we are working hard to bring these robbers to justice. That is why we have released these images today. If you were at Birch services and recall seeing these men, or recognise them, then please get in touch."
CCTV footage can be seen here. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
New CCTV released in hunt for robber
Police hunting a man who robbed a woman in Manchester's Northern Quarter are appealing to people in north Manchester and Rochdale and who may know the offender to get in touch. Images and footage show a man detectives wish to speak to getting onto the number 17 bus and climbing to the top deck moments after the early-morning attack.
At about 5.10am on Saturday 20 July, a 23-year-old woman was walking along Thomas Street, wearing headphones and listening to music as she went. As she walked along Tib Street she was approached from behind by the offender, who had been following her.
He grabbed the strap of her bag, forcing her to spin around. During a struggle over her bag the offender told the woman "give me your phone, or I'll slash your face," before hitting the woman on the back of the head with a glass bottle he had been carrying.
She handed over her phone and ran off along Tib Street where she sought help from a taxi driver. The offender followed the victim and told the driver that she was his girlfriend and that he should ignore her as she was drunk.
The offender is described as being a white man, who spoke with a broad Mancunian accent, in his mid-20s and with worn looking skin. He had green or blue eyes, a very closely shaved head, was clean shaven and had front teeth missing. He also had a tattoo on the left hand side of his neck.
Police Constable Dave Stebbings, said: "Our investigation into this traumatic experience for the victim is ongoing. We received a number of calls following our last appeal but we are still working hard to find the man responsible.
"Due to him boarding the number 17 bus it is reasonable to assume that he either lives or was visiting an address somewhere between north Manchester and Rochdale. If you recognise the person in the image along with the description, specifically that he has a tattoo on his neck and has front teeth missing, please call us."
CCTV footage can be seen here. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 3221, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Robber chased off after attacking woman
A man gave up on his bid to steal a cash-filled envelope from a 61-year-old woman after he was chased down the street by staff from a nearby carpet factory. At about 2.15pm on Friday 13 September, the victim had withdrawn money from a bank in Middleton and walked back towards her husband who was waiting in his car on Water Street.
Yards from the car, a man then went up to the woman and tried to grab the envelope. As the pair struggled, the offender pushed the woman to the ground, picked up the envelope which she had dropped and ran off with it. Three members of staff from a nearby carpet factory saw what was happening and chased the man, who dropped the envelope as he fled. He was last seen on Wood Street. He is described as being a white man, about 6ft 2in to 6ft 3in tall, of slim build and in his mid-20s. He had chipped teeth, a gaunt face, and was wearing a grey hooded top.
Detective Constable Charlotte Humphries said: "Thankfully this man was deterred and ran off empty handed, but we are still working hard to try and trace him and bring him to justice for this robbery. We would urge any witnesses who saw what happened, or may have seen where the man went next, to call us."
Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 0161 856 1704 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Man suffers broken jaw in unprovoked assault
A man waiting for a taxi after a night out had his jaw broken in three places in an unprovoked attack. At about 2am on Saturday 31 August, the 23-year-old man, who had been out with a friend in Middleton, was waiting for a cab on Townley Street.
The offender approached him from behind and the victim felt a blow to his face, knocking him to the ground. The man was taken to hospital for treatment to the broken jaw, as well as a cut to the top of the head. The victim didn't even see the offender.
Detective Constable Charlotte Humphreys said: "This was an unprovoked attack on a man who had been on a night out. We know that the area was busy at the time, so I am appealing to anyone who witnessed this incident to call us. You may not have realised the extent to which the victim was injured."
Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8701 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Woman and child rush out of house following arson attack
A Middleton woman had to rush out of her own house with her grandchild after arsonists started a fire. At about 11pm on Thursday 22 August, the offenders started the fire through the letterbox of the house on Great Arbor Way, setting the curtains inside the door alight.
The 42-year-old woman inside was woken by the sound of her smoke alarm. When she went to check and found the fire, she grabbed her three-year-old granddaughter, ran downstairs past the fire and left through the back door. Neighbours were called and managed to put the fire out quickly. Both the woman and the girl were taken to hospital for treatment to smoke inhalation, but neither suffered serious injuries.
Detective Sergeant Diane Johnson said: "This was a terrifying experience for this woman, who woke to find herself in immediate danger. She has no idea why this happened. Nobody we have spoken to saw the offenders so we are appealing for any possible witnesses to come forward. We have launched a thorough investigation to find those responsible."
Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8782 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Elderly lady victim of bogus burglary
Around 12.30pm on Friday 26th July, there was a bogus burglary at the home of a lady in her 90s on Hollin Lane. The offenders posed as employees of Age Concern and were invited into the property. The elderly occupant went into the kitchen to make them a cup of tea, leaving the offenders in the lounge. She later found that they had stolen £210 from her bag which had been in the lounge.
The offenders are described as an Asian male, aged 40-45 with short black thinning hair, clean-shaven, 6' tall and medium build. He was wearing a blue sweater with white writing and navy blue trousers. He spoke broken English in an Asian accent.
His accomplice was an Asian female aged between 32 and 35, about 5' tall with a fat build. She had shortish black hair and wore a pink short-sleeved top and a white skirt, just below knee-length.
Can you assist in identifying these offenders? If so please call 101.
Man breaks vertebrae following attack
A punch to the face could have left a man paralysed after he fell backwards onto a wooden fence. At about 3.15am on Sunday 14 July, the 27-year-old man had an argument with the offender at the forecourt of a petrol station on Greengate. The offender then punched the man to the face, sending him crashing into a wooden fence, fracturing his vertebrae.
Detectives have described the offender, who left the scene after the assault, as white, of medium build, in his mid to late 20s and about 5ft 9in tall. He had short dark hair which was balding and was wearing a red, long-sleeved shirt.
Detective Constable Michael Berger said: “Tragically there have been cases where one punch has led to fatal injuries and in this case the victim has been effectively left with a broken back, and could have therefore been left paralysed. I would urge any witnesses who may have seen this incident to come forward so we can help find the man responsible.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8576 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Gunman disturbs 40th birthday party
A 40th birthday party was thrown into chaos when gunmen barged into a Middleton venue. At about 12.30am on Sunday 7 July, two offenders forced their way into the party that was being held at Leesa Vain Dance Studio in Spring Gardens. One offender, who was armed with a handgun, put his weapon to the head of a woman who was working at the venue and demanded cash. A quantity of cash was handed over and the offenders ran off.
One offender was white, 5ft 10in tall, of skinny build and in his early 20s. He was wearing a black hooded jumper that was pulled over his head and had black material covering his nose and mouth. The other was described as white, 5ft 8in tall, of skinny build and in his early 20s. He was wearing a grey hooded jumper that was pulled up over his head and had his face covered. No one at the party was injured but staff and partygoers were left shaken.
Detective Constable Nick Price, said: “These two robbers have entered a crowded venue and used a gun and threats of violence to steal cash. We can’t say with any certainty whether the gun was real or an imitation, but that will have in no way lessened the impact this has had on those present.
“What should have been an enjoyable and celebratory occasion ended in chaos because of these two men and someone will know who they are. Perhaps they told someone about this, either in the planning stages of after the event and if you have any information that can help I would urge you to call us in absolute confidence.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8577, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Detectives have launched an investigation after three cars were set alight in Middleton
It happened between 2.45am and 3.35am on Sunday 30 June when three cars were set alight a short distance apart on Green Lane. One of the cars was set alight on the driveway close to the front door of the house. The heat from the fire caused damage to the window frame, front door and inside the house. The victim, her partner and two children were trapped inside the house.
The two young children were sleeping in their bedrooms at the front of the house where the fire was started and the fire brigade had to force entry to the house.
Detective Constable Dan Daly from Middleton police station, said: “Deliberate fires are crimes we take extremely seriously and these arson attacks could have ended with tragic consequences. Thankfully in this instance, no-one was injured. However, this is not to underestimate the impact these arson attacks will have had on the victims.
"Extra officers will be on patrol in the area, I would urge anyone who may have witnessed something or has information that may assist our investigation to come forward and speak to us. The information provided will be treated with the strictest confidence.”
Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8742 or 101 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Man's arm broken during attempted robbery
A man had his arm broken by a machete as three men tried to rob his home in Middleton. The incident happened at around 8pm on Friday 29 March, when three men armed with a machete smashed their way into a house on Lands End Road. The three men, who had their faces covered, smashed through the back door and demanded the car keys from the occupants – a man and a woman.
When they refused to hand over the keys, they were subjected to a violent attack, which resulted in the 43-year-old man’s arm being broken as he was struck with the machete. The three men then fled empty-handed, heading in the direction of Manchester Old Road.
The first offender, who was armed with the machete, is white and described as 5ft 8in tall, stocky build with green eyes. He was wearing a black hooded top, baseball cap and scarf around his face. The second offender is white and was wearing a baseball cap and black hooded top with black tracksuit bottoms. The third offender was white and described as mid 20s, wearing dark clothing.
Police are investigating whether this is linked to a similar incident on 5 December 2012, when four masked men forced their way into another house on Lands End Road and fled empty-handed. No-one was injured during this incident.
Detective Constable Charles Stewart said: “This is an appalling attack on a family in the sanctity of their own home, a place where they should feel safe. There were also two young children in the house at the time.
“We have a number of detectives investigating this case to try and identify those responsible and are appealing for anyone who saw these men before they went into the house on Lands End Road, or who saw them leaving the area after the attack, to get in touch with us.
“These three men thought nothing of using extreme violence against a family who refused to hand over their property, and it is vital we find these dangerous men as soon as possible so we can take them off our streets.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police in Rochdale on 0161 856 8608. Alternatively, you can pass on information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Door remains closed to robbers
Robbers threatened a Middleton householder with a gun but left empty handed after he refused to answer the door. At about 7.40pm on Wednesday 13 March, the trio knocked on the door of the house on Dean Walk. The victim was upstairs and asked what they wanted from him. One of the men then pointed a gun at him, called himself Jimmy and demanded the man open the door and hand over cash. The man refused to open the door and the offenders left.
The offender carrying the gun is described as being white, 5ft 8in tall, of stocky build and in his mid 20s to early 30s. The other two men were white and also in their mid 20s to early 30s. One man was wearing a white face mask.
Detective Constable Nick Price said: "The victim may not have been willing to entertain these men, but what they did is being treated as a serious offence all the same.
"This was an attempted armed robbery where the offenders made threats, pointed a gun at their victim and made demands for cash; they fully intended to make the victim feel as though he was in danger. These dangerous offenders therefore need to be caught. We would urge any witnesses to come forward."
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 1706 or call
the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Woman threatened during robbery
A woman was threatened during a robbery in Middleton. At around 7.30pm on Monday 4 March, three people forced their way into a club on Higher Wood Street and went to the bar area. One of them threatened a member of staff whilst the others took cash from the safe.
As they were about to leave, another member of staff tripped one of the offenders. They dropped a number of coin bags on the floor before continuing to run from the building. All three were said to be wearing ski masks and hoodies. Police are appealing for information and witnesses.
Detective Constable Chris Whalley from Rochdale CID said: “This was a frightening experience for the woman. We are urging anyone who has any information about what happened or saw three men running from the club that evening to get in touch with police straight away.”
Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 8552 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.