Lae city started off the week on a bad note with two major robberies yesterday morning occurring within a span of two hours.
Police said at about 8 am an unknown number of men armed with high powered guns held up Pelgen’s supermarket and walked off with a large sum of money.
Two hours later at around 10 am Lae International Hotel was also robbed.
Lae Metropolitan Commander Chief Superintendent, Anthony Wagambie, said in both robberies the suspects walked into the shop and the hotel and held the staff at gunpoint and got away on waiting vehicles.
Police have yet to confirm the amount of money stolen from both locations. But it is understood, relatively large sums of money were stolen.
The criminals targeted the administrative office at Pelgen’s and the accounts section at the Lae International hotel.
Police claim about seven suspects walked into the Pelgen’s administrative office and held up the employees.
They got away in a waiting dark blue land cruiser towards West Taraka with the money.
Police gave chase of the robbers and just before they reached the West Taraka Bridge shots were fired back at the police which resulted in exchanges of gun fires.
The chase ended where the robbers abandoned the vehicle and made off on foot, armed with one high powered weapon and two factory made shot guns.
Two hours later, five suspects walked into the accounts section at the Lae International Hotel, held up the staff, took the money and got away in a waiting brown ten seater vehicle.
Police were alerted and gave chase, but, the criminals left the vehicle at Voco-point and escaped on a boat.
Investigations into both incidents have begun.