Merseyside Police are issuing a CCTV image of a man we wish to speak to following a series of attempted robberies; two in the Sefton area and one in the Liverpool area yesterday evening, Friday 1 February.
At around 9.10pm, officers were called to MP Food and News, Latimer Street, Vauxhall to the report of an attempted robbery. It is believed that a man came into the shop with his face covered and demanded cash. Staff refused and activated the alarm before the man made off empty-handed.
Enquiries confirmed that similar incidents had taken place at two other premises in Sefton. On each occasion, nothing was taken and nobody was injured.
The second attempted robbery occurred at around 9.40pm at Ennerdale Wines, Ennerdale Drive, Bootle, the man entered the shop with his hood up, holding a striped blanket. He demanded cash and threatened staff with a knife and left the shop empty-handed.
The third attempt was made at around 10.10pm at USM News and Wines in Cooks Road, Crosby. The offender again made demands and went towards the counter and threatened the shop assistant a knife, as the assistant shouted the man left the shop.
The offender is described as a white male, aged in his late-twenties, around 6ft tall, of large build, wearing black tracksuit bottoms, black trainers and a black jacket, carrying a blanket with white red black and gold stripes.
Witness and CCTV enquiries are ongoing and officers will be in the area to provide reassurance to local businesses and the community.
Detective Inspector Gary Stratton said: "We are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed these incidents, or who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area at around the time of the incidents to come forward and allow us to carry out a full and comprehensive investigation. You may have seen this man walking along the road with a distinctive striped blanket shown in the CCTV image. To carry any weapon in a public place is incredibly reckless and thankfully it did not result in any injuries.
"However, the use of knives to threaten people is cowardly and could lead to serious injuries or worse, and to be a victim of such incidents is a frightening experience.
"I would urge any local businesses who experience this type of incident to call 999 and we can take immediate action to identify the person responsible and put him before the courts, to ensure that businesses are protected from any type of threat."
Anyone with information on who carried out these offences is asked to contact @MerPolCC, call 101, or @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting references 0941, 0966 and 1006 of 1 February