A HAMMER-WIELDING robber who is thought to be linked to three robberies across the Leigh side of the borough is being hunted by police.
The most recent incident occurred at about 7.05pm on Tuesday, November 6, at The Costcutter Store, in Bolton Road, Atherton.
As the vigilante threatened employees with a claw hammer, he lent over the counter, took cash from the till and filled the draw string bag he was carrying.
He put the hammer in the bag and walked out of the shop in the direction of Marlborough Road.
The spree started on Saturday, November 3, at about 5.30pm, at The Weekender off-licence on Chapel Street, Leigh.
The offender entered the premises while two members of staff - including an eights-month pregnant woman - and one female customer, were inside.
Brandishing a claw hammer, he then demanded the contents of the till be put into a black plastic bag he was carrying.
Fearing for their safety, the two female workers filled the bag and the thief ran off down Battersby Street and then out of sight.
It is believed he may have barged into a member of public when fleeing the scene.
The second robbery happened at about 6.45pm on Monday, November 5, when the thief walked into Cost Less on Wigan Road, Leigh.
Approaching the till area, he demanded cash while holding a hammer.
After the two members of staff handed him money, he threatened to come back the next day and left.
The offender is described as white, between 5ft 8in and 5ft 10in, of a slim to medium build and wearing a dark hooded top.
Detective Constable Kevin Telford said: “Thankfully no one has been injured however, the fact that this man threatened his victims with a weapon that could seriously hurt them shows he is determined to get what he wants.
“I appeal to anyone who either has information about these robberies, or suspects they know who might be responsible from the description we have given, to call us immediately.
“I would also urge owners and employees of local businesses to be vigilant, don’t keep large amounts of cash on the premises and if you see someone hanging around acting suspiciously just give us a call.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.