Port Stephens police are now investigating the armed robbery of a Lakeside grocery store, coming five days after the hold-up of a Raymond Terrace service station with a paintball pistol.
Officers were called to Lakeside Village in Benjamin Lee Drive about 12pm on Wednesday, January 1 on reports of an armed robbery at a grocery store.
Police were told that a man described as being of Caucasian appearance, aged between 16 and 20 years old and 170 to 175cm tall and armed with a small axe entered the grocery store. He had his face covered.
He approached the counter and instructed a female attendant to open the cash register. She did so.
The man stole cash before fleeing on foot across Benjamin Lee Drive in a south-westerly direction.
Police were called. On arrival, officers from the Port Stephens-Hunter Police District established a crime scene.
The man was last seen wearing a grey hoodie pulled over his head, black track pants, black slip on canvass shoes and yellow gloves. He was carrying a small black backpack.
The Lakeside robbery follows the armed hold-up of a petrol station in Adelaide Street, Raymond Terrace about 7.10pm on Friday, December 27.
Police said a man described as being of Caucasian appearance, aged between 20 and 25 years old, around 180cm tall with red hair and a medium build entered the service station and asked for a pack of cigarettes.
He then threatened the male staff member with what appeared to be a firearm.
Police said the man jumped the counter then struggled with the staff member who managed to escape from the premises. The staff member returned and a further struggled followed.
The armed man ran from the store, jumped on a bicycle and fled the scene without any cash. He was last seen wearing a brown hooded jumper, brown pants and black shoes.
No customers were inside the store at the time and no one was hurt.
A crime scene was established when police arrived. A number of items were seized for forensic testing including a paintball pistol, a cap, a bag and a bicycle helmet.
Anyone with information about the Benjamin Lee Drive or Adelaide Street armed hold-ups are asked to contact Raymond Terrace Police Station on (02) 4983 7599 or or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.