Detectives are investigating four robberies at convenience stores in Blackpool that happened with twenty minutes of each other.
The first incident happened at around 5pm on Monday (May 7th) with each robbery taking place at shops on Highfield Road, Blackpool.
B&M Bargains was targeted first, then Tesco Express, followed by two further newsagents on Highfield Road.
On each occasion the offender has made demands for money whilst threatening staff members with a knife and an item concealed to look like a firearm.
During the robbery at Tesco Express, a number of people within the store have grappled with the thief and unfortunately a member of the public sustained a slash wound to his face. He is currently being treated for the injury which has been described as life changing.
The thief is believed to have got away with around £60 from the last robbery.
Det Insp Kevin Simmons, from Blackpool CID said: “These incidents have happened within a period of just 20 minutes and we believe the offender was wearing a clown mask during the first two robberies. We think he has travelled from each of incidents on a bicycle.
“He is described as being of large build, between 40 and 45 years old and was wearing dark clothing
I would also like to praise the bravery of the people within the Tesco store for trying to detain this thief and I wish the injured man a speedy recovery in hospital.
“I would like to reassure residents that we have increased patrols in the area and are working on catching this man.”
Anyone with information can call us on 01253 604157 or if they fail to get an answer, 101 quoting incident reference 1259 of today (May 7th).
Alternatively independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.