TWO business partners were targeted by armed robbers, and had their newsagents broken into in the space of four days.

Martin Gilbert and his 29-year-old female business partner were the victims of the robbery minutes after closing their MCM News shop in Bolton Road, at 8pm on Friday, November 2.

Two weapon-wielding raiders stole a briefcase containing the £1,000 day’s takings from the back of Mr Gilbert’s car. A second briefcase, containing personal paperwork, was also taken. Days later, the couple discovered thieves had burgled the premises and stole goods worth up to £8,000.

Vowing to carry on despite the double setback, 48-year-old Mr Gilbert said: “What has happened has shaken us up.”

Armed raiders first struck minutes after Mr Gilbert had placed the briefcase containing the money into the boot of his car at the rear of the shop. As he got in the vehicle, he heard his business partner shout and discovered a thug had put a baseball bat against her neck.

Mr Gilbert said: “Somebody approached me, carrying what was a either a metal bar or machete. Both wore masks. He said to me he wanted the money and I said the money was in the boot and to take it out. I was then hit over the head.”

On Tuesday, November 6, the couple discovered the shop had been burgled overnight via a rear door. The burglars stole cigarettes, gift sets, and scratch cards.

Yesterday police said two men, aged 27 and 32, had been arrested on suspicion of the burglary and were on police bail.