Police are hunting an armed robber who struck twice in Bathgate in the space of four days – threatening staff with a meat cleaver and hammer.
Officers in West Lothian are renewing their appeal for information following two armed robberies in the town which officers are linking.
The first happened at a bookmakers in Hopetoun Street on Friday November 2 at around 7.20pm 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.
No-one was hurt.
The man walked out of the shop turning left along Hopetoun Street.
Then, on Monday November 5, a man entered a pawnbrokers on George Street at 1.20pm and threatened staff with a hammer.
He demanded money, taking the contents of a till.
No-one was hurt.
The man walked out of the shop turning right along George Street.
In both robberies, the suspect is described as between five foot 10 inches and six foot tall, of slim build, with a long nose and deep sunken eyes, and was wearing dark clothing and black trainers with white soles.
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, quoting incident 3785 of 2nd November for the bookmakers robbery or 1798 of 5th November for the pawnbroker robbery.
Alternatively contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.