Detectives are hunting a robber who threatened staff during a bungled raid on a shop in Thatto Heath.
The man demanded workers hand over cash but escaped with just a bottle of alcohol.
Police believe the same man had earlier stolen a bottle of cider from Save Express Store on Elephant Lane.
Both incidents took place on Saturday, February 7 but police only just released an appeal for witnesses.
They have also released CCTV stills of a man they want to speak to in connection with the raid.
Det Insp Martin Earl, St Helens CID, said: “The owner of the shop was left understandably upset and distressed. Convenience stores provide a vital service for communities across St Helens and staff deserve to be able to earn an honest living without the fear of being threatened and robbed.
“The force is determined to do everything it can to crackdown on business robberies and is working with the retail industry to introduce enhanced security measures at premises across Merseyside.
“As part of our enquiries into these incidents we have now issued a number of CCTV images of a man who we believe may have important information which could help us with our investigation.
“I would appeal to him, or anyone who recognises him, to get in touch with us as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information can call detectives in St Helens CID on 0151 777 6843, or via the 101 number, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.