POLICE are linking five armed robberies amid a string of similar incidents across the area.
Robberies by gunmen at betting shops in Worthing and Findon Valley are being linked to an incident in Lancing and two others in Shoreham.
An unrelated knifepoint robbery at McColl’s, in Manor Parade, Durrington, on Thursday brings the total number of incidents to six since January 3.
Detective Inspector Rob Walker said: “We are linking five armed robberies in Shoreham, Lancing and Worthing and are appealing for information from the public.”
Gunmen stormed Betfred, in Findon Road, Findon Valley, on March 5, threatening a customer and member of staff.
They escaped with several hundred pounds in cash and a mobile phone, striking the customer on the hand with a gun when he refused to turn out his pockets.
Four days later, Ladbrokes, in Rowlands Road, Worthing, was targeted by two men with handguns, who made-off with £170.
Staff at the Co-op in Royal George Parade, Upper Shoreham Road, were held at gunpoint by two hooded thieves on Saturday evening.
Branches of Uncle Sams in Lancing and Shoreham were also raided on January 3 and February 22.
A police spokesman said two people have been arrested in connection with the Co-op store robbery.
A 33-year-old man from Burgess Hill was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit robbery and a 23-year-old Shoreham woman was arrested on suspicion of making off without payment.
They have both been bailed for further enquiries until May 2.
Police are also appealing for information over the McColl’s robbery, in which a man entered the shop with his face covered by a balaclava, threatened the shop worker with a knife and demanded she hand over money.
He took cash from the till and left on an old children’s bike towards Salvington Road and into Pond Lane.
Detective Sergeant Simon Smith said: “Thankfully the shop worker wasn’t hurt but extremely shaken by what happened.
“A witness saw the man leaving the shop and was able to describe him as white, between 35 and 40, around 5ft 8ins with thick dark hair cut into a bowl cut. He was wearing a black sweatshirt and joggers.”
Anyone with information about the robberies should contact police on 101 or email email@example.com quoting Operation Radar.
Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.