Police appeal after two armed robberies in West Lothian

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Detectives are hunting a man who may have been involved in two armed robberies using a meat cleaver and a hammer in West Lothian.

The incidents happened in the Bathgate area on Friday and Monday, on Hopetoun Street and George Street respectively.

The suspect was about 5ft 11in tall, of slim build, with a long nose and deep sunken eyes. He wore dark clothes and black trainers with white soles.

Nobody was injured in the robberies but police say staff were left "shaken".

Bag and rucksack

The first incident happened at a bookmakers in Hopetoun Street on Friday at about 19:20 when a man who had been using a gaming machine threatened a member of staff with a meat cleaver and stole a three-figure sum of cash and a charity tin.

On Monday, police believe the same man entered a pawnbrokers on George Street at 13:20 and threatened staff with a hammer, taking the contents of a till.

Det Insp Paul Batten, of Police Scotland, said: "We have carried out extensive inquiries and believe that the same man is responsible.

"He was carrying a carrier bag in the first robbery, and a black rucksack in the second, which he used to take the money away.

"Fortunately nobody was injured in either incident but staff were left extremely shaken. I am keen to hear from anyone who was in Bathgate town centre on Friday evening or Monday afternoon and may have seen this man before or after each incident."

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