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14 October 2011, 06:00
Police have named a man they're looking for in connection with a series of armed robberies across the country, including in Essex, in which the offender was wearing fancy dress.
Detectives are keen to talk to Martin Joseph Reilly, 53, in connection with at least eleven armed robberies.
Reilly has targeted bookmakers in Essex, Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, and most recently London, stealing just over £20,000.
Detective Inspector Ian Still from Brighton CID, who is leading the South East investigation said: "We hope that by publicising Martin's name and photograph for the first time it may prompt members of the public who know him or recognise him to come forward.
"What is distinctive about him is that he uses fancy dress disguises - wigs, hats, false beards, moustaches and sideburns to alter his appearance and to hide scarring on his cheeks, particularly horseshoe like scarring on his left hand cheek.
"We are linking the eleven robberies and attempted robberies from each of the counties due to the use of disguises and his modus operandi, almost always striking just as the shops open up and arming himself with a knife or gun to threaten staff. It is not known if the gun is imitation or real.
"We believe Reilly is using the rail network or other public transport to reach stores just as they are opening up. Fortunately to date, Reilly has not harmed staff or members of the public during any of the robberies but we would still advise people to not approach him but to contact police immediately should they see him.”
The Association of British Bookmakers has offered a reward of up to £10,000 for information that will lead to Reilly’s arrest and conviction.
Reilly is described as white, 6ft 1ins of medium build, with blue eyes, a shaven bald head and scars on each cheek.
He has at various times lived in both Corby and Kettering and has connections to London, haviing previously lived in the Croydon area and is known to frequent Killburn.
He is also known to use different names such as Martin McAuley, Martin Anderson and Martin O’Reilly.
At 8.30am on September 20th, Coral's betting shop in London Road, Westcliff was targeted by a man of similar height and build to Reilly, wearing a dark wig, trimmed grey beard and a fluorescent workman's tabard, a white protective face mask and yellow safety goggles. He entered the store, threatened the member of staff at gunpoint and made off on foot with cash from the till.
Click here to view CCTV of Reilly walking into Ladbrokes, Gildredge Road, Eastbourne, and pulling his balaclava down at the last minute.