DETECTIVES investigating the raid at Coral in Castle Lane West on Thursday believe that the suspect is the same robber who held up Ladbrokes at Christchurch Road on Wednesday evening.

A robber entered Ladbrokes in Christchurch Road, between Pokesdown station and Iford, at 6.24pm on Wednesday, wielding a hammer and demanding cash.

After a quantity of money was handed over, he fled, sparking a manhunt around the area.

CCTV images of the suspect were released, but he is still at large.

The man was described as white, in his mid-30s, about 5ft 9in tall with short black hair.

He was wearing a white shirt, black pin-striped suit jacket and jeans. He was carrying a computer-style bag.

Yesterday evening, detectives said they thought the suspect perpetrated both robberies.

The raids are just the latest in a spate in recent weeks.

There have been no arrests over a robbery at Co-op, Bearwood, on Saturday, April 19.

Also, none have been made in relation to a robbery involving five men forcing their way into a flat on Poole Quay on Sunday, April 6, and over an incident where a 33-year-old woman was robbed at knifepoint in Lowther Gardens, Bournemouth, on April 13.

Speaking after the robbery at Coral in Castle Lane West, Detective Inspector Mark Samuel, said: “We are aware that there have been a number of robberies in the Bournemouth area recently.

“I would like to assure the public that robberies are a priority area for Dorset Police and the Criminal Investigation Department thoroughly investigates this type of crime using specially-trained detective officers and analysts.”

Police have arrested a 19-year-old Poole man on suspicion of robbery after a raid at Central Stores, Cunningham Crescent, West Howe, on Monday, April 28. He has been bailed until July.

Witnesses and anyone with information about any of the other incidents should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101.

Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.