DETECTIVES have arrested two men in connection with three robberies that have taken place at shops in the past month.

They said yesterday that a 37-year-old man from Bournemouth and a 49-year-old man of no fixed abode were being questioned.

The arrests relate to robberies at Highcliffe Post Office on December 18, the Co-Op in Cranleigh Road, Southbourne, last Saturday night, and the Mace store at Saulfland’s shops in Highcliffe on Sunday evening.

A spokesman said: “They are helping police with their enquiries and the investigation is ongoing to determine the facts.

“Witnesses or anyone with information can contact police on 101 in the strictest confidence.”

Detectives say they are working to establish whether the three incidents were connected.

The robberies are three of a spate that have happened in December and January.

On December 18, an armed robber burst into Highcliffe Post Office, demanding cash in front of horrified customers.

Frightened staff handed over money before the gunman fled.

On Saturday, a robber threatened staff at the Co-Op in Southbourne at around 9.50pm before making off with cash.

At Saulfland Place store, just off Smugglers Lane in Highcliffe on Sunday at around 5pm, a man threatened shop staff with a handgun.

He made off with cash. Nobody was hurt.

Police released similar descriptions of the offender for the incidents.

The incident in December came just days after two armed robberies and a kidnapping in the New Forest.

A robber held a man at gun point at Brockenhurst railway station on December 5 and on December 14 police believe the same man drove a woman around Lymington at gunpoint after raiding her home.

At the time, police said they were keeping an open mind as to whether the incidents were linked.

Officers are still appealing for witnesses. Anyone with information should call in confidence on 101, or use the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.