A man suspected of carrying out a series of ‘terrifying’ armed robberies at east London bookmakers is being hunted by police.

Nine similar raids have taken place across the Plaistow, Stepney and Whitechapel areas and detectives believe they are linked. In each robbery a man entered a bookmakers and demanded cash, threatening staff with a suspected firearm.

Following the latest raid on Thursday, December 15 at Betfred in Mile End Road, officers from the Met’s Flying Squad have released images of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the crimes.

It was the fourth time the shop had been targeted. It was first hit just after noon on March 21 when a man entered and threatened a staff member with a suspected firearm before making off with cash, leaving in the direction of Stepney Green Station. Similar offences were committed on October 27, November 23.

The latest robbery was the second incident in the past week. On Tuesday, December 13, police were called to an attempted robbery at Paddy Power in Whitechapel Road. A man had threatened staff with a firearm and demanded cash but the employee was able to escape and the man left empty handed.

Coral in Barking Road, Plaistow has been raided three times, on February 10 at about 7pm, November 21 and December 9.

An attempted robbery took place at a Paddy Power shop in the same road on February 28 at about 12.45pm. The robber was challenged by a customer and he left the shop with nothing, fleeing in the direction of Warmington Street.

Almost £1,600 was stolen during the raids.

Detectives would like to speak to the man shown in the CCTV images in connection with the robberies. He is described as Asian, aged in his 30s, and of medium build.

Detective Constable Tom Boow, the investigating officer from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “We are extremely keen to speak to the man in the CCTV images in connection with these nine robberies.

“Someone must recognise the man and we would urge anyone who does know him to contact the police or Crimestoppers as soon as possible.

“These robberies have been terrifying for the victims, and it is very fortunate that no one has been physically injured.”

Call police on 101 or Crimestoppers , anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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