POLICE are hunting a knife-wielding raider who attempted to rob the Co-op in Bearwood.

He grabbed the till drawer and threatened a female member of staff before fleeing the scene when she screamed loudly.

Detectives in Bournemouth have now appealed for witnesses to come forward and have released CCTV images.

They said the man entered the Ringwood Road shop at 7.45am on Saturday April 19 and bought a scratch card before attempting to raid the till.

He is described as white, around five feet five inches tall, in his mid to late thirties and of stocky build. He was wearing a black Adidas tracksuit top, grey tracksuit bottoms and a black woollen hat.

Detective Constable Michelle Lawrence, of Bournemouth CID, said: “It was fortunate the offender was scared off and no one was injured, however the member of staff was left very shocked.

“Following enquiries I am now able to release two CCTV images of the suspect.

“I would ask him or anyone who recognises him, to contact me urgently.

“I am keen to speak with anyone who has any information that may help with the investigation.”

No arrests have been made.

The appeal is the latest in a series of robberies to take place across the area.

Detective Inspector Mark Samuel, of Bournemouth CID, said: “Robberies are a priority area for Dorset Police and the Criminal Investigation Department thoroughly investigates this type of crime using specially-trained detective officers.

“This month we have suffered four commercial robberies which is concerning, however I am not aware of any link between these robberies at this time.

“I would like to thank the public and media for their help with our witness and information appeals and I encourage the public to continue to come forward either by phoning the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 in confidence.

“I would like to advise shop keepers to be vigilant for anyone acting suspiciously and to ensure safety features – such as CCTV – are in working order.

“Anyone requiring additional advice should contact their Safer Neighbourhood Team who will be happy to assist.”

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101 quoting incident number 19:100 Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.