Detectives are appealing for information following two attempted robberies in Haydock on Monday, 20 May.
At around 12.30pm, three male youths approached a woman in her 70s outside of Evin’s Diner on Branch Way and asked for directions. One of the youths grabbed the victim’s handbag and, following a struggle, they ran off towards Grange Valley Road, leaving the bag behind.
Shortly after, at around 12.45pm, three male youths approached a woman in her 60s in Grange Valley and made threats and demands for cash. No weapon was seen and the victim refused to hand anything over, and walked off. Following the incident, a local window cleaner called 'John' is believed to have assisted by chasing the youths away.
Enquiries are ongoing to trace this man, and CCTV and witness enquiries are also continuing in relation to both offences.
Officers are carrying out high visibility patrols in the area for reassurance and to support the community.
In the first offence, the offender who approached the victim is described as around 15 years of age, 6ft 1in, with dark short hair. Enquiries are ongoing to obtain descriptions of the other suspects.
Detective Chief Inspector Craig Sumner said: “Both of these incidents have left the victims extremely shaken up and we are determined to find those responsible and put them before the courts. Thankfully neither victim was injured, but to experience such events will of course have been traumatising. Given the time and circumstances, we believe that these offences may be linked.
“To target lone females and threaten and attempt to steal from them in the street is absolutely abhorrent and I would urge anyone who knows who these youths are to do the right thing and come forward.
“We also particularly want to speak to a Good Samaritan, a local window cleaner we think is called John, who assisted the victim in Grange Valley and who may have vital information to assist our enquiries.”
Anyone with information can contact @MerPolCC, call 101 with reference numbers 19100255691 (Branch Way) and 19100258293 (Grange Valley) or you can contact the independent charity @CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555 111.