AN ARMED thief targeting convenience stores with a handgun and machete is being hunted by police following a series of 'traumatic' robberies.

Thames Valley Police believe three incidents on Saturday and Sunday may all be linked and an appeal for witnesses to come forward has been made.

The most most recent theft was at the Co-Operative on Wokingham Road, Earley, at around 6.40am on Sunday.

A man entered the store armed with a small handgun and he stole cash without injuring anyone.

An hour before that another man hit the One Stop on Marlow Bottom Road, Marlow, also armed with a gun and demanded money.

The thief was unable to access the cash from the front of the shop and fled the scene. There were no injuries.

Another robbery involving a man with a machete took place at Tesco Express on Tring Road, Wendover, at around 11.30pm on Saturday.

He entered the shop and demanded money from the shop's safe, before leaving with an unknown amount of cash, but nobody was hurt.

Witnesses have described the man as black, of a large build and believe he is around 30 to 40 years old.

He is thought to be around 6ft tall, with a face covering and he was wearing blue jeans, dark coloured hat and dark clothing.

No arrests have been made so far, but police will be stepping up patrols as part of their investigation.

Anyone with information, eye-witness accounts, or dashcam footage is urged to call the police immediately.

Detective inspector Mark Carolan of Force CID based at Newbury, said: “We are carrying out a thorough investigation into these incidents that at this stage believe to be linked.

“These incidents were very traumatic for those involved, in order to assist us in our investigation we would ask anyone with any information to come forward and contact us.

“If anyone has a dash cam and was driving past any of these locations around the time of these incidents then we would ask you to check the footage and come forward.

“If anyone has any information we would ask them to call 101 quoting reference 1688 of 17/02/18.

“As a result of these incidents members of the public may see an increased police presence whilst we continue to investigate.”