Police seek readers’ help to track down raider

POLICE are appealing for information following three knifepoint robberies at commercial premises in Blackpool.
POLICE are appealing for information following three knifepoint robberies at commercial premises in Blackpool.
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This is the man detectives are hunting in connection with three knife point robberies in Blackpool.

Detectives are appealing for help in identifying a thief after he walked into three shops, threatened staff with a large knife, and then demanded cash.

Det Con Ian Massey, from Blackpool CID, has linked the robberies at the Co-Op store on Whitegate Drive, the Tanning Shop on Devonshire Road and Beech Wines off licence on Beech Avenue, which were carried out by an offender matching the same description in each case.

He said: “Interestingly every offence has taken place around 8.30pm on a Thursday night so I would ask people to think carefully about this information alongside the CCTV images and description.”

The most recent robbery happened at the Co-Op 
store on Whitegate Drive 
on September 12.

A robber also struck at the Tanning Shop on Devonshire Road on September 5.

Karen Tismond, 35, the owner of Beech Wines off licence, which was the first premises to be targeted back in July, said: “We were away on holiday when it happened and I think the robber knew that.

“We had a young 22-year-old girl working for us and when we talked to our locals about the incident many said they had seen a lad sat outside the shop for more than 40 minutes before the robbery.

“When he robbed our shop he wasn’t wearing gloves.

“Then we found out he wore gloves in the other two robberies.

“We think he may have even been in our shop since.

“To be honest the whole thing has had a profound affect upon us. We no longer allow women to work in the shop in the evening.

“I bring my little three-year-old son Jack to work most days and it has terrified me to think what would happened if an armed robber came in when he was here.”

The offender is white,aged between 20 and 30-years-old and is around 5ft 11in tall.
He is described as slim to medium build with a pale face, dark eyebrows and speaks with a local accent.
On each occasion he was wearing a dark coloured North Face jacket with something covering the lower half of his face, grey jogging bottoms and black trainers.
Det Con Ian Massey, from Blackpool CID, said: “If anyone has any information about the person who could be responsible for these crimes I’d urge them to contact police on 101.”