POLICE are hunting an armed robber who raided a bookmakers in Bournemouth, threatening a female member of staff with a large knife. 

A man dressed in dark clothing entered Coral bookmakers on Castle Lane West at 12.03pm on Thursday. 

The offender obtained a quantity of cash from the member of staff and left in a westerly direction.

Two members of the public were inside the store at the time the incident occurred but nobody was injured.

The panic alarm was triggered at around 12.15pm and police attended at 12.20pm and cordoned off the shop.

Detectives investigating the raid now believe that the suspect is the same robber who held up Ladbrokes at Christchurch Road on Wednesday evening.

The suspect is described as a white, aged in his late twenties to thirties, about five feet ten inches tall and of medium build. He was wearing a grey hooded top.

Detective Constable Sara Butler, of Bournemouth CID, said: “I am already able to release this CCTV image in relation to this incident.

“As this is a very clear image, I am hoping that somebody will recognise the suspect.

“I am keen to speak with anyone who has any information about the incident or can identify the man pictured.

Dorset Police takes these incidents very seriously and perpetrators will be arrested and dealt with robustly. Anyone convicted of such a crime is likely to face a very lengthy prison sentence.”

Detective Inspector Mark Samuel, of Bournemouth CID, 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.”

No arrests have been made.

Any witnesses should call Dorset Police on 101 quoting incident number 8:144.