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Western Waikato Police are seeking the public's assistance as they work to establish if two aggravated robberies in the Waipa District on Saturday night are linked?
Detective Bill Crowe of the Cambridge CIB said the descriptions of the offenders in the robberies were similar.
"In the first robbery three men were walking home from work along Cambridge's Shakespeare St when they were confronted by two men in a silver car. The man in the front passenger seat threatened the trio with a firearm.
"The driver got out and patted down one of the victims removing a bag of lollies and a cellphone, the offenders then ran back to their car taking a black plastic bag containing 12 pre-mix drinks they'd taken from the victims."
Mr Crowe said the cell-phone was kept but the sweets were discarded by the offenders who drove off down Shakespeare St turning right on to Wordsworth St.
"The silver Mazda Familia station wagon, registration number CAQ643 was recovered by Police a short time later on Brooke Tce, it had been stolen the day before from Hamilton.
"We've received reports of the offenders getting into another vehicle, possibly a Subaru, and driving off. The cell-phone and alcohol taken in the robbery were later found on Carlyle St."
The offenders in this robbery were described as Maori or Polynesian males, the driver 5ft 9-10' tall wearing a white bandana across his face and wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt covering the top of his head.
The man armed with the firearm was described as also wearing a white bandana across his face, about 5ft 9-10' tall wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.
In the second robbery staff of the Te Awamutu KFC restaurant were confronted by two men, one armed with a firearm, around 11.30pm.
Mr Crowe said the staff were closing up for the night when events unfolded.
"The offenders gained entry via the rear of the premises, the first one staff member knew something was amiss was when the victim was grabbed by the back of the neck and had their head pushed into a formica bench.
"Pushed into the staff room this worker was confronted by the sight of a co-worker on the ground with an offender pointing a gun at that person's head, both offenders were demanding money from their victims."
The offenders fled the store on foot with a small amount of cash, running up an access-way and on to nearby Vaile St where Police believe they had a vehicle waiting.
Mr Crowe said the offenders in this case were described as Maori or Polynesian males, one of slim build about 160cm in height wearing a black zip front hooded sweatshirt with a multi-coloured t-shirt underneath.
The man wore a green bandana over his face, a black hat underneath the hood of his sweatshirt, white woollen gloves on both hands faded blue jeans and black and white basketball shoes.
The second offender armed with the firearm was described as bigger than the first with a red woollen mask over his face, a black hooded zip-front sweatshirt, black gloves and blue jeans.
All aggravated robberies are traumatic however Police are particularly concerned about the level of violence the victims in this case were subjected to.
"We need help from the public to track down those responsible before they strike again," said Mr Crowe.
"Such behaviour can not and will not be tolerated in our community," he said.
Police are particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the silver car or anyone acting suspiciously in Cambridge around Shakespeare St and Brooke Tce around 9pm.
They also want to hear from anyone who noticed anything suspicious around Sloane, Palmer and Vaile Streets Te Awamutu around 11.30pm.
Anyone with any information on who may have been responsible for the robberies is asked to contact Mr Crowe at the Cambridge Police Station on 07 8275531. Alternatively information can be left anonymously on the confidential crimeline, 0800 Busthem (0800 287843).