A SHOPLIFTER threatened to stab staff at a Christchurch shop with a blade, hit them with a bottle wine and stab them with a hypodermic needle after hiding wine and chocolate bars under his coat.

The incident at the Co-op convenience store in Fairmile Road store has sparked an investigation by police.

A man entered the shop at 4pm on Wednesday, April 8, and selected three bottles of wine and two chocolate bars, which he proceeded to conceal under his coat.

When he was challenged by two members of staff the man became aggressive and threatened to stab them, hit them with a bottle of wine and to stab them with a hypodermic needle.

The offender eventually left scene on a bicycle in the direction of Tuckton Bridge.

The three bottles of wine were recovered.

Officers investigating the incident have issued a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to.

PC Louise Rowswell, of Dorset Police, said: “This was a very unpleasant and frightening experience for the victims. We have made efforts to identify the offender but these have so far been unsuccessful.

“As part of my enquiries I have now obtained a CCTV image of a man I would like to speak to and I would ask anyone with information as to his identity to please get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55200050615. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.