POLICE have released CCTV after an armed robbery at a village shop in the New Forest.

Detectives investigating a raid at the Co-op in Bransgore have linked the incident to two other robberies.

The first took place at Bargain Booze, in Millbrook Road East, Southampton, on January 14 at around 9.45pm.

A man entered the store with a knife, grabbed the cashier and demanded money. He took £140 from the till and left. The cashier was uninjured.

The second took place at Mason’s in Main Road, Totton, on January 25 at 8.30pm.

The most recent took place at the Co-op in Oak Tree Parade on January 28 just after 9pm. As reported by the Daily Echo, the robbery was the second in just two weeks at the convenience store.

During the incident, a man walked in with a knife and stole cigarettes, alcohol and money from the tills.

Detective Sergeant Dal Andrews said: “We have been carrying out various enquiries into these three robberies and believe that they are all linked.

“Fortunately no one has been injured as a result of these incidents but staff have been left understandably shaken by what has happened.

“I would like to remind those working in local convenience stores to remain vigilant, especially around closing time, and please do not hesitate to call us if you see anyone suspicious hanging around.

“Our neighbourhood officers will be carrying out patrols so please speak to them if you have any concerns.

“We also know that the man responsible for these robberies has been using a black holdall, so let us know if you find one that may have been discarded anywhere.

“We are particularly keen to speak to the man seen in the CCTV image as we believe he may have information that could prove vital to this investigation.

“We have also issued this e-fit image in the hope that someone will recognise him.

“If you think you know who this man is, or if you see anyone acting suspiciously outside your local shop, please get in touch.”

Anyone with information should call 101, quoting 44180017880, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A 37-year-old man from Southampton has been arrested on suspicion of robbery. He has been released from custody but remains under investigation.