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String of robberies in Kennington, Ashford, triggers manhunt

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A hooded robber who attacked three women in as many hours for their handbags in a snapshot crimewave is at large.

The string of violent muggings unfolded in Kennington, Ashford, on Friday morning as the victims, two of whom were elderly, walked alone.

The alleyway that runs alongside the Heathfield housing estate
The alleyway that runs alongside the Heathfield housing estate

The suspect drew up to one woman in her 40s and tried grabbing her bag in an alleyway alongside the Heathfield Estate near Canterbury Road at about 7.40am.

But she resisted and overpowered the would-be-mugger who fled empty-handed towards the estate.

Just moments later a woman, 70s, walked down Cemetery Lane towards the cycle path crossing the M20 at Junction 9, with her bag slung across her body at about 8am.

A man walked passed then turned and attempted to grab her bag however, despite being dragged to the ground suffering grazes to her elbows and knees, she fought him off.

Nothing was reported stolen, police said.

'All three robberies took place in the same area of Ashford...'

Another woman in her late 70s walked along Bockhanger Lane at about 10.20am when the robber targeted her.

She tried to resist but the suspect fled with her belongings, including cash, keys and cards, towards Grosvenor Road.

The victim was not injured but was shaken up following the incident, police said.

Officers have linked the robberies and are appealing for witnesses and people with potential camera footage to come forward.

"All three robberies took place in the same area of Ashford and the suspect in all three incidents is described as being about 5 feet 6 inches tall, possibly in his 20s and wearing a black hooded top and jogging bottoms," a spokesman said.

One incident happened in Cemetery Lane, Kennington
One incident happened in Cemetery Lane, Kennington

"The suspect in Canterbury Road was described to police as being Asian but in the other two robberies the man appeared to the victims to be black.

"Officers would like to hear from anyone who saw anything or who has information that could help with their inquiries.

"They are particularly keen to see any CCTV, doorbell or dashcam footage that may have been captured in those locations around the time of the offences."

Anyone with information should call police on 01843 222289, quoting reference 03-0177 for Canterbury Road, 03-0567 for Cemetery Lane or 03-0335 for Bockhanger Lane.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or by visiting their website.

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