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30 November 2014, 06:53 | Updated: 30 November 2014, 07:15
A man has threatened a customer and member of staff with what's thought to be a firearm at a shop in Colchester.
The suspect went into William Hill bookmakers in Harwich Road, at around 9pm last Saturday (November 22). He pulled out what's believed to have been a firearm and pointed it at a customer and a member of staff but then left empty-handed.
The same suspect is also believed to have attempted to rob a convenience store in Winnock Road on Thursday (November 27).
Investigating officer, DC Aimee Burton, said: "The customer left William Hill shortly after the suspect fled. We have not been able to trace him but believe he could have vital information in relation to our enquiry. He may well have been very shocked and scared by what happened to him but I would urge him to get in touch and tell us what happened. We are also releasing a CCTV image of the suspect and if anyone recognises him or has any information that could assist our investigation I would like to hear from them ”
The suspect is described as white, of skinny build and around 6ft fall. He was wearing a green hooded top and a black balaclava. The weapon he was carrying looked like a black handgun.
In the second incident a man entered the convenience store and threatened a staff member with a possible firearm before leaving without taking anything. It happened shortly after 9.10pm on Thursday (November 27). The weapon was fired twice in the store at some bottles, but the damage caused means police do not believe it was a genuine firearm. A full search of the area was carried out but no suspects were identified and police enquiries are continuing.
Anyone with information can call DC Burton at Colchester CID on 101 or they can also give information to the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.