A man threatened a betting shop worker with a meat cleaver before making off with cash and a Scottish Poppy Appeal collection box in West Lothian.
The thief, who had been using a gaming machine, approached a female worker behind the counter at the bookmakers in Bathgate on Friday.
A three-figure sum of cash was stolen in the incident.
The woman and a male customer were unharmed during the robbery in Hopetoun Street.
The man, who was noted as smelling of cannabis, was described as white and in his late 20s to early 30s.
He is about 5ft 10in to 6ft with a slim build and blue/green eyes that appeared bloodshot.
He also had brown greasy hair that was short at the sides and longer on the top and was wearing a grey wind breaker-style jacket, a black scarf, black jogging bottoms and black trainers with white soles.
Det Insp Paul Batten, of Police Scotland, said: "This was a frightening attack which has left a female member of staff badly upset.
"We are eager to trace the man responsible as soon as possible.
"I would ask anyone who was in the Hopetoun Street area and saw anything suspicious, to get in touch with us immediately."