AN ARMED robber brandishing a pole was confronted and chased from a shop in ‘quiet’ West Moors this morning – just 16 days after a nearby bookie was raided.

Police said the incident at the Tesco Express store on Station Road may be linked to an armed robbery at Ladbrokes just across the road, at the end of last month.

The man, who was wearing a dark coloured hat covering his face, entered the store at 5.29am as workers prepared to open, before threatening staff with a pole and demanding money.

The police said a male member of staff then disarmed him and chased him out of the shop.

Detective Inspector Richard Dixey, added: “It is possible that this incident is linked to the robbery at Ladbrokes in West Moors two weeks ago as the description of the offender is similar.

“However, at this early stage of the investigation we are keeping an open mind.”

The suspect, last seen running in the direction of Three Legged Cross, is described as white, about 50 years old, approximately five feet eight inches tall with a medium to slim build.

Images released of the suspect show a man dressed in dark clothing with very short hair or no hair.

The robbery at Ladbrokes, on February 26, left a female member of staff shaken after she was held at knifepoint, before the assailant fled the scene with cash.

Residents said they were surprised that there has been a further armed robbery and that the area is usually ‘quiet’.

Lee Pattison, who works at Blue Barber Shop on Station Road, said: “I’ve been here for 18 years and there’s never been any crime.

We have a great community here and you just don’t expect this kind of thing.”

Mike Tunbridge, a retired resident who regularly uses the Tesco, said: “It’s always been a very quiet area but it seems like there are yobs all over the place now.”

Keith Dacey, who is originally from Liverpool, said it was the sort of incident he associated more with his home town.

He added: “You don’t hear of anything happening around here.

It’s very quiet. But then we’ve had two in quick succession within such a small distance of each other.”

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101 quoting incident number 14:43.