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Shop workers threatened with an axe during armed robbery

6 May 2021

Two men who threatened shop workers with an axe during an armed robbery have been jailed.

Adam Merkitt and Andrew Bluck travelled from Northampton to Hunts End in Buckden on 9 November, 2019 and smashed their way into a store in Hunts End where they attempted to make off with lottery tickets and the till.

Just five hours later at 6am Merkitt apprehended the manager of a shop in Great North Road, Eaton Socon, while Bluck rounded up three others into a separate room demanding they ‘empty their pockets’.

A fifth member of staff, who was in a different room at the time they entered, escaped outside and called police.

The pair, who were wearing balaclavas, then dragged the manager to the safe and forced him to open it and they made off in a silver car with around £4,000.

Merkitt and Bluck were tracked down to a hotel in Northampton after a member of the public provided a picture of the vehicle they were travelling in.

Officers investigating were able to match clothing found in the hotel with CCTV images from the robbery. They also found receipts which led them to a sports shop they went to after the robbery where they could be seen on CCTV wearing the clothing.

Merkitt, 36, of Brookside, Great Paxton, pleaded guilty to robbery, burglary and theft of a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison at Peterborough Crown Court yesterday (5 May).

Andrew Bluck, 37, of HMP Peterborough, pleaded guilty to burglary and two counts of robbery and was sentenced to three years and 10 months.

Detective Constable Kellymarie Harman, who investigated, said: “Merkitt and Bluck were so desperate for money that they were willing to go to extreme lengths to get it. This was a terrifying ordeal for all of the staff involved and it was lucky that no one was seriously harmed.

“I’d like to thank the staff for their support during the investigation and I hope they find satisfaction in the knowledge that this pair are going to be in prison for a long time.”

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