Detectives are trying to trace any possible witnesses to two robberies in Burnley last week.
Both robberies happened on the Tuesday, June 2nd, and police believe that they could be linked.
The first took place at around 8-30pm at Coral bookmakers in Hammerton Street. A man dressed in a blue and grey hoodie with a balaclava covering his face entered the premises with what is thought to have been a machete. He threatened members of staff with the weapon and demanded that they hand over money. The staff handed over around £300 in bundles of £5 and £10 notes.
The man then fled the scene on a BMX bike. It is thought that he was working with two other men who waited outside the shop or nearby during the robbery.
The second robbery happened at around 9-35pm at Top Shop Premier convenience store in Barden Lane. Three men are thought to have entered the shop wearing black clothing, hooded tops and balaclavas covering their faces. One of the men was carrying what is thought to have been a machete and threatened the shop assistant with it, demanding that he open the till and hand over money.
The shop assistant opened the till and one of the other men took nearly £570 in cash before leaving the shop. Two of the men were seen leaving the shop on foot and one of the men on a bicycle.
Two youths aged 14 and 17 and a 19-year-old man all from Burnley have been arrested in connection with the robberies and are currently on bail until July 29th.
DC Jon Penson, of Burnley CID, said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for all of the shop assistants involved and we do believe that the two robberies involved the same offenders. I am keen for anyone who may have seen those pictured in the CCTV images in the area last Tuesday evening or anyone acting suspiciously, to come forward and tell us what they saw. Any information you have could help us with our on-going enquiries.”
Anyone with information can contact police on 01282 472512 or they can call 101. Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org.