Police linking two armed robberies just days apart
Man targeted a bookies and pawn shop using a meat cleaver and a hammer to threaten staff.
Shop staff in a pawnbrokers were threatened with a hammer just three days after a bookmaker was targeted by a man wielding a meat cleaver.
Police are now saying both armed robberies that took place in Bathgate, West Lothian are connected and believe they have been carried out by the same man.
The first incident took place on Hopetoun Street at around 7.20pm on Friday, November 2 when a man who had been using a gaming machine inside the premises threatened a female member of staff with a meat cleaver and stole a three-figure sum of cash and a charity tin.
Then, on Monday, November 5, a man with the same description entered a pawnbrokers on George Street at around 1.20pm before brandishing a hammer at staff and demanding money.
He then made with the contents of a till, turning right along George Street.
No-one was hurt in either incident.
The suspect is described as around 5ft 11 with a slim build, long nose, deep sunken eyes and was wearing dark clothing and black trainers with white soles.
After the first incident it was noted that the man smelled of cannabis, had blood shot eyes and brown greasy hair.
Detective Inspector Paul Batten said: "We have carried out extensive inquiries and believe that the same man is responsible.
"He was carrying a carrier bag in the first robbery, and a black rucksack in the second, which he used to take the money away.
"Fortunately no-one was injured in either incident but staff were left extremely shaken.
"A dedicated team of detectives are investigating these robberies and I am keen to hear from anyone who was in Bathgate town centre on Friday evening or Monday afternoon and may have seen this man before or after each incident."
Anyone with information should contact Livingston CID on 101.