A man who used a hammer and knife to carry out four robberies in the space of two weeks – including at the same sandwich shop twice – is being hunted by detectives.
Officers said they are “determined” to bring the raider to justice after he subjected his victims to terrifying threats – with Gazette readers urged to contact police if they recognise the man captured in these CCTV images.
Det Insp Eric Halford said: “These are serious incidents where threats of violence have been used. We have launched an investigation and are determined to find out who is responsible.
“The incidents have been confined to a small geographic area and have been very similar in nature, with similar descriptions given for the offender. At this stage, we believe they are linked.
“Please study the photographs and the clothing displayed in them. If you have any information please get in touch as soon as possible.”
The first robbery happened in Mansfield Road, close to Layton Cemetery, at around 5.30am on Monday, April 1, when a man was threatened with a knife and ordered to hand over his belongings. He escaped unhurt and without having anything stolen.
The second robbery was at Subway in Westcliffe Drive, Layton, at around 7.30am on Friday, when the man waved a hammer at workers and stole “a small amount of cash” from the till.
The third robbery took place at 10pm the same day, at Bargain Booze in Talbot Road, Blackpool, but the brave staff refused to hand anything over and the robber fled empty handed.
The last robbery happened at 9.10pm on Sunday, again at Subway in Layton. The man used a knife to again threaten staff and emptied £300 into a carrier bag before fleeing.
Andrew Beardall, Subway’s area manager, said: “My partner Angela Torr was working in the Subway during the first robbery, when he threatened her with the hammer. She was badly shook up but fortunately wasn’t hurt.
“It was like he knew the place very well and knew where all the cameras were. Angela said she had spotted him hovering about all morning and thought it was suspicious. When the panic buttons are pressed it can be quite some time before the police turn up.”
Information can be reported to police by calling 101, quoting log number 1390 of April 14.