A MAN has been jailed for his involvement in three serious armed robberies.

Dylan Rawlinson, 24, of North Avenue in Leigh was jailed for nine years and three months last week, after his masked group left customers and staff fearing for their lives.

The first incident took place at McColls Convenience Store in Hindley on Thursday, November 19, 2020, just seconds after the store opened for the day.

Armed with a sledgehammer and wooden pole, Rawlinson – together with two other men – forced a member of staff to open the safe, whilst also raiding the tills and cigarettes.

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Leigh Journal: The One Stop on Chestnut Drive in 2020The One Stop on Chestnut Drive in 2020 (Image: Google Maps)
Rawlinson then struck again on the morning of Sunday, December 6, 2020 at the One Stop shop on Chestnut Avenue in Leigh.

Witnesses described three men entering the shop, hiding their identities behind balaclavas, and who were brandishing a sledgehammer and wooden-handled axe.

Unable to breach the safe due to it being on a timed lock, the shop’s tills and cigarette display were targeted, before one of the witnesses was attacked with the axe.

Rawlinson, together with the two other men (although not thought to be the same at the previous robbery), made their escape just six minutes later.

The downfall of Rawlinson came during an armed robbery at the Co-op on Haigh Road, Aspull at approximately 20.39 hours on Tuesday, June 29, 2021.

Witnesses described three men parking their vehicle in the car park of the store before entering and forcing a member of staff to open the safe.

Armed with a sledgehammer and crowbar, they also removed cigarettes from behind the counter and forced their way into the tills.

Police recovered the getaway vehicle on Abbey Lane in Leigh a short while after the robbery and pursued the men on foot onto nearby wasteland.

Rawlinson was apprehended as he tried to escape over a fence and was arrested on suspicion of robbery. He later pleaded guilty to all three incidents.

Leigh Journal: Rawlinson was jailed for nine years and three monthsRawlinson was jailed for nine years and three months (Image: GMP)
DC Matt Higham of Wigan Challenger, who led the investigation said: “This was a complex investigation which resulted in a sentence that reflects the level of aggression and violence Rawlinson used when carrying out these robberies.

“Innocent shop workers feared for their lives when these men turned up at their places of business and forced them to hand over money, cigarettes and other valuable products.

“Everyone has the right to go about their day in a peaceful, non-violent way and getting these two men off the streets is a great result for GMP.

“We urge anyone who is concerned there is criminal activity taking place in their communities to get in contact with us and report it."

This can be done by dialling 101, using the Live Chat function or on the police website here.