'Violent' sports clubs robberies in Rochdale and Oldham linked
Eight "extremely violent" robberies at sports and social clubs in Greater Manchester are being linked by police.
The robberies, which have included of three cricket clubs and two golf clubs, started in October, Greater Manchester Police said.
A woman was "viciously" beaten with the metal end of a snooker rest and a pool cue in the most recent at Chadderton Cricket and Bowling Club, Oldham.
Police are warning clubs to tighten up security particularly at closing times.
The first attack happened at Rochdale Cricket, Lacrosse and Squash Club, in October. Three men made off with cash after threatening members of staff with an axe and hammer.
The most recent was at at Chadderton Cricket and Bowling Club, Bowling Green Lane, on 16 January.
Police said the victim of the pool cue attack has been left traumatised and with severe bruising to her face and body.
Det Roger Smethurst said: "What started as a handful of seemingly isolated robberies has become a noticeable trend, predominantly at sports and social clubs and often around closing time.
"Some of these crimes have been extremely violent, leaving staff with injuries and customers totally distressed by what they have been forced to witness."
Other robberies have taken place at:
- Brookdale Golf Club, Failsworth
- Nimble Nook Working Men's Club, Chadderton
- Ashton Under Lyne Golf Club
- Norden Cricket Club, Rochdale
- Woodthorpe Hotel, Bury Old Road, Prestwich
- Crimble Restaurant, Bamford, Rochdale