POLICE have released more images of a car they want to trace as part of a manhunt for a hammer-wielding robber targeting pie shops in St Helens.
Detectives say Waterfields pie shops in Sutton, Clock Face, Whiston, Rainhill and Liverpool have all been raided by an armed thug in less than a month.
A sixth carbon-copy raid occurred at the bakery chain’s shop on Higher Parr Street, Fingerpost, last Friday morning (June 17).
Police say that, in the latest incident, a white man in his 20s confronted two staff members and a delivery man shortly before 8am before demanding that they open the safe.
He then locked the staff in a back room and made his getaway in a car.
Armed with a hammer, the man was wearing a heavy duty high-visibility jacket, a baseball cap and white trainers.
Detectives investigating the robberies have now released CCTV stills of a dark grey or blue Vauxhall Astra that they believe the offender used to flee the scene.
Detective Sergeant Lee Stinchcombe, of St Helens CID, said: “Finding this car could be crucial in us identifying and catching this offender. Although we are keeping an open mind, we believe it is likely that it is the same man who is responsible for these six robberies and it is important we stop him.
“Although he has not hurt anyone so far, he has used a hammer to intimidate people who are just going about their business to hand over cash.”
The offender is described as white, between 5ft 10ins and 6ft 2ins tall, and of thin build. He uses either a balaclava or a scarf and hood to cover his face as well as sunglasses.
He has a Liverpool accent, although in one incident he spoke with a fake southern one.
Victims have described him as being softly spoken and calm, with several being assured that they won’t be harmed if they co-operate.
Witnesses should call St Helens CID on 0151 777 6078 or 0151 777 6042, or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.