Reward to help catch man wanted for armed robberies

CCTV image of a man police want to trace in connection with a wave of armed robberies at bookmakers in NOrthamptonshire and other counties.
CCTV image of a man police want to trace in connection with a wave of armed robberies at bookmakers in NOrthamptonshire and other counties.

A reward has been offered to help trace a man wanted in connection with a series of armed robberies at bookmakers in Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, West Sussex and Leicestershire.

After releasing CCTV last week of a man police would like to speak to in relation to at least eight robberies between February and March this year, the Association of British Bookmakers has offered the reward of up to £10,000 for any information which will lead to the successful arrest and prosecution of the offender, payable upon conviction.

The offences, including robberies in Wellingborough and Kettering, are believed to have been committed by the same man.

Detective Inspector Mark Pattison, from Northamptonshire Police, said: “This reward has been offered to help encourage anyone who may have any information about this man to come forward.

“We would urge him, or anyone who recognises him, to contact Northamptonshire Police on 101 and quote Operation Needle.

“Thankfully, no-one was hurt in any of these incidents, however they have been extremely traumatic for the cashiers and the businesses have lost money.

“We are working closely with the other forces where we believe the offences have been committed by the same man and are confident that someone has information that can help.”

The following offences are believed to have been committed by the same man:

* Wednesday 13 February – Ladbrokes, Midland Road, Wellingborough.

The offender entered the shop at around 6.55pm, armed with what is believed to have been a gun. He handed the cashier a plastic bag and requested cash. The man left with a quantity of cash.

* Saturday 16 February – Betfred, Kettering Road, Northampton.

An offender entered the shop at around 6.30pm, threw a bag at the cashier and demanded money. He indicated that he had a weapon.

The shop assistant replied that she didn’t have any money and immediately went to the cubicle door to ensure it was locked. At this point the offender left the shop.

* Saturday 16 February – Ladbrokes, Fish Street, Northampton.

The offender entered the shop at around 7.00pm, threatened staff with what appeared to be a gun, handed the cashier a bag and demanded money.

The staff handed over a small quantity of cash and the offender left the shop.

* Monday 18 February – William Hill, The Boulevard, Crawley, Sussex.

The offender entered the shop at around 7.15pm, placed a bag on the counter and demanded money. He appeared to be holding a gun.

The assistant put money in the bag and the offender left the shop.

* Thursday 21 February – Betfred, Dalkeith Place, Kettering.

The offender entered the shop at around 8.30pm, handed the cashier a white carrier bag with a Poundland logo on it and demanded money.

He showed the cashier a gun he was holding and left the shop with a quantity of cash.

* Saturday 23 February – Ladbrokes, Harding Place, Harpenden.

The offender entered the shop at around 8.45pm, handed the cashier a white carrier bag and demanded money. He left the shop with a quantity of cash.

* Wednesday 27 February – Ladbrokes, Broadwalk, Crawley.

The offender entered the shop at around 7.45pm, handed the cashier a white carrier bag and demanded money.

He showed the cashier a gun and left the shop with a quantity of cash.

* Wednesday 6 March – Ladbrokes, Gypsy Lane, Leicestershire.

The offender entered the shop at around 1.40pm, handed the cashier a carrier bag and demanded money.

He showed the cashier what was believed to be a gun and left the shop with a quantity of cash.

A spokesman for the police said: “In each of these offences the offender has been described as black, between 5ft 5in and 6ft tall, possibly in his late 30s early 40s, wearing a black hoodie in seven of the eight offences and a grey hoodie in one of the offences.

“He has also been seen wearing a black hat with a scarf covering his face and white trainers.”

Detective Inspector Mark Pattison added: “We have released images of a man who we are keen to locate in relation to this series of armed robberies. We would urge him to make contact with us and for anyone with any information to contact Northamptonshire Police on 101 and quote Operation Needle.

“Thankfully, no-one was hurt in any of these incidents, however they have been extremely traumatic for the cashiers and the businesses have lost money.

“We are working closely with the other forces where we believe the offences have been committed by the same man and are confident that someone has information that can help.”

Witnesses to this incident, or anyone with information about it, can call Northamptonshire Police on 101 or information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.