Takeaway delivery drivers ambushed by armed robbers

POLICE are hunting armed robbers who are making fake orders to takeaways so that they can ambush the delivery drivers.

The pair struck twice in a matter of days in north Edinburgh and police have warned city firms to be on their guard.

The first incident saw the driver threatened with a knife in a common stair after being tricked into making a drop-off at an address in Ferry Road Drive.

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A second robbery saw the driver punched to the ground in Muirhouse Grove, where the thieves rifled through his pockets before making off.

Police today urged staff at city takeaways to be vigilant and encouraged any concerned workers to seek crime prevention advice from officers. The two chip shops targeted have already been visited by police, who recommended their drivers never go out on jobs with large amounts of cash.

In both incidents, the chip shops were called by phone by the robbers who placed fake orders for food and gave false addresses.

The pair, who had hoods pulled across their faces, then lay in wait for the delivery drivers to arrive before robbing them of cash and the takeaway meals.

A police spokesman said: "The managers of the two businesses which were affected have been given crime prevention advice.

"We are encouraging takeaway restaurants to be vigilant and anyone wanting their own crime prevention advice can contact police.

"We are appealing for anyone who has any information to get in touch."

The first robbery in Ferry Road North was carried out at about 11:30pm on Sunday, 17 January, when the suspects held up the victim at knifepoint. The terrified driver was unable to say in which direction the pair fled after they had stolen the money and food.

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Police investigating the theft believed it was an isolated incident until last Thursday when another robbery took place at 10:30pm in Muirhouse Grove. The suspects ambushed the driver in the common stair of a block of flats, knocking him to the ground.

Officers are now linking the two robberies and today appealed for help in identifying the men.

In both incidents, the suspects are described as white, 6ft, wearing dark clothing with hoods tied tight across their faces.

Last month, a knife-wielding robber held up staff at a Chinese takeaway in Midlothian. The masked thief brandished a knife at the Chinese Garden Takeaway on Greenhall Road, Gorebridge.

Staff handed over cash to the man before he fled the scene.

Last March, delivery driver James Ketchin was beaten and robbed by two men after dropping off meals to customers in Clermiston.