THE Examiner has reported a number of armed robberies at shops in recent weeks.

One store in Cowlersley, one in Birkby and two in Milnsbridge have been attacked by thieves armed with guns or knives.

All of these cases are particularly worrying and it is extremely important that we apprehend the offenders quickly.

Anyone prepared to use or threaten violence with a gun or knife is potentially just one move away from taking someone’s life, often for just a few cigarettes or a small sum of money.

For obvious reasons I would welcome any information which could lead to the identity of anyone committing this type of crime.

The CCTV image on this page shows a man wanted in connection with a robbery at Sonal Stores, on Cowersley Lane, Cowersley, on the evening of January 2.

He walked into the shop, propped the door open with a drinks bottle, pointed a handgun at the staff member and ordered them to hand over property.

He was given some items but carried on making demands, before a customer walked into the shop.

The man got away with a quantity of Richmond cigarettes and £60 in cash.

He is tall, white, aged between 16 and 17 and skinny. He was wearing a black scarf over his face and was wearing a striped hooded top.

We are investigating the possibility this incident was connected to a robbery at the adult book shop John’s Books, on Manchester Road, near Milnsbridge, at lunchtime on December 29.

On that occasion, a man armed with a firearm demanded cash from an assistant, who handed over £50.

The offender was white, 6ft 6ins tall, thin and spoke with a Lancashire accent.

He was wearing a black hooded zip-up top, gloves, black tracksuit bottoms and black trainers.

On the night of January 3, two masked men – one armed with a sawn-off shotgun – attempted to rob Newspoint convenience store on Grimscar Avenue in Birkby.

They fled empty-handed when a panic alarm went off.

Finally, as reported in the Examiner today, Premier Food and Wine, on Market Street in Milnsbridge, was robbed at about 10.30pm last Friday, January 14.

Since starting to write this column, I have had some fantastic information from Examiner readers which has really assisted investigations.

I would appeal to you to continue to help us with these investigations. Anyone with information can call police on 0845 6060606 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555111.