Urgent appeal to find Rugby man wanted in connection with five knifepoint shop robberies

Paul Ashford, 31.
Paul Ashford, 31.

Police said they are urgently trying to find a Rugby man who is wanted in connection with five knifepoint robberies in shops across Rugby.

Paul Ashford, 31, is wanted urgently in connection with the following knifepoint robberies:

A robbery at the Coral Bookmakers on Hillmorton Road, which happened at 8:30pm on September 24.

A robbery at the One Stop on Lower Hillmorton Road, which happened at 9:08pm on September 25.

A robbery at the BEST ONE convenience store on Deane Road in Hillmorton, which happened at 8.08pm on September 28.

A robbery at the Coral Bookmakers, Kingsway, which happened at 8:28pm on September 30.

A robbery at One stop Community Store, Frobisher Road, at 7:42pm on October 3.

Ashford is described as white, around 5ft 11in tall, with short brown hair and blue eyes.

Detective Inspector Dave Andrews from the Warwickshire Police Offender Management Unit said: “It is vital we speak to Ashford as soon as possible.

We want to speak to him in connection with five knife-point robberies across Rugby over the last two weeks and in connection with an assault.

“This has been a concerning series of incidents and we are concerned more will be committed unless we catch the person responsible.

“Ashford is also wanted on warrant for breach of a court order.

“He has a very distinctive tattoo on his neck so he will be noticeable. If anyone sees him or knows of his whereabouts please call 999 immediately.

“Following this series of robberies we have been working closely with local businesses to help reduce their chance of falling victim to robbery.”

Police advice to Rugby shop workers

Officers are offering the following advice to shop workers in Rugby:

Be vigilant and report anything suspicious to police.

Don’t keep tills open any longer than necessary, ensure more than one member of staff is on hand when money is being moved and count cash in a secure area.

Keep as little cash as possible in tills by regularly transferring it to a more secure location. Use stickers or posters to tell robbers that you only keep a small float in the till.

Having more staff working deters robber.

Be extra vigilant if you stay open late.

Make sure your CCTV is working and appropriately positioned.

Call 999 immediately if you have any information

Anyone with information that could help police catch Ashford should call 999 immediately.

Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.