Two internet cafes have been robbed by armed men in the central Sydney suburb of Surry Hills within a week in incidents that police believe may be linked to other recent robberies in nearby Gladesville and Petersham.
NSW police have appealed for witnesses after the second internet cafe in a week was robbed early yesterday morning. Another robbery was committed last week.
Four men wearing balaclavas and armed with a sledgehammer and knives entered an internet café on Chalmers Street about 5:00am on Thursday 2 September, police said in a statement.
"The men stole an amount of cash and a mobile phone before leaving the store. The manager and customer who were in the store at the time were not injured," police said.
In the second robbery, an internet cafe on Elizabeth Street - just one street away - was robbed at about 10:45pm on Thursday 26 August.
A man wearing a black ski mask, dark-coloured jacket and pants entered the business and allegedly threatened the store attendant with a gun before taking a sum of cash and some phone cards, police said.
Two other men, also wearing black ski masks, then came in and stole a notebook PC from a customer. One was about 170cm tall and wore a dark-coloured T-shirt and the other was about the same height but wore a faded blue hooded top, jeans and red and white shoes, police said.
All three men then left in a stolen black Subaru, with registration DC-8275, police said.
Police were investigating a possible link between the Surry Hills robberies and recent robberies at Gladesville and Petersham in the inner west of Sydney, police said.
Detective Inspector David Egan-Lee, crime manager at Surry Hills Police, said businesses should take extra care, particularly if they opened around the clock.
"Businesses should ensure the outside of their premises are well lit and should consider installing CCTV cameras. Those businesses with CCTV should ensure it is in good working order," Egan-Lee said.
Businesses should also try to keep as little cash as possible on the premises, Egan-Lee said.
Anyone with information about either robbery was asked to contact Surry Hills Police on 9265 4144 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. All information would be taken in confidence, police said.