Three men were arrested in the early hours of this morning (14/03) over a series of armed shop raids in which staff were threatened with an axe.

Police were alerted to two attempted robberies in less than an hour last night − first at Nisa in Kitts Green Road at 8.40pm followed by Co-Op in Walmley Close, Sutton Coldfield.

On both occasions staff were grabbed by a man and threatened with a hand axe before fleeing empty handed; no-one was injured during the attacks.

A West Midlands Police Armed Response Vehicle patrolling in the Northfield area just after 1am spotted the suspected Ford KA getaway car in Fourlands Road.

The car was intercepted and men aged 23, 26 and 37 − all from Birmingham − were arrested at the scene on suspicion of robbery.

They will also be questioned in connection with another shop robbery at Sidhu News in Washwood Heath Road, Ward End, at 7.20am on Saturday morning when a man armed with a knife fled with till takings.

West Midlands Police Detective Sergeant Phil Poole, said: “Thankfully no-one was injured in the attacks but staff members were understandably shaken up at being threatened with a weapon.

“All three men are currently being held in police custody for questioning.

“If anyone witnessed the robberies, or has any information on who may be responsible, I’d urge them to call my team ay Stechford police station as soon as possible on the 101 number.”