A St Helens man apologised to a shopworker for committing an armed robbery in which he stole bottles of alcohol.
Staff at Alldayz Newsagents in Parr Stocks Road, Parr, were left terrified after the lone male entered the shop at around 7.15pm on Saturday December 23,, and walked up to the counter.
He made demands for alcohol and lifted his top to show the handle of what was believed to have been a silver handgun with a black handle.
To the bewilderment of the staff member, the man then apologised for his conduct, before taking two bottles of alcohol and walking out of the store and turned right towards Bulls Head on Tickle Avenue. The staff member was not injured but was left distressed by the incident.
The man pictured is described as white, with a stocky build, a Liverpool accent, with a prominent pointy nose and a scar which runs from the left side of his lip towards his left ear. He was wearing a black Armani 'EA7' jumper, black trousers and black shoes.
Detectives have now released CCTV footage of the robbery as part of a public appeal to track down the thief.
Detective Insp Matt Smith said: "We are keen to speak with the man pictured to assist us in our enquiries. The shopkeeper was thankfully unhurt but understandably distressed to be threatened with what had the appearance of a firearm, regardless of whether it was real or fake.
"I would appeal to anyone who knows who this man is, or any witnesses inside or in the vicinity of the shop from around 7pm who saw anything suspicious to get in touch. Any piece of information, however small, may be vital for our investigation.
"I want to assure all residents and businesses that we will do everything possible to identify the offender and bring him to justice, and ensure that St Helens continues to be a safe place to live, work and visit."
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 0517277097. You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously and for free on 0800 555 111 or via their online form: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online.