An incompetent robber who accidentally removed his balaclava during a string of armed raids in Manchester is being hunted by police.
The fumbling thief first struck at a petrol station in Gorton on September 25 but the brave cashier refused to hand over cash to the meat cleaver-wielding crook.
The man returned on October 9 this time brandishing a handgun wrapped in a plastic bag and demanded cash but the same till worker refused to comply and locked himself in the office – the offender tried to smash down the door before leaving with cigarettes and counterfeit money.
Detective Sergeant Alex Wild, of North Manchester CID, said: “The man we are hunting may not look like the most convincing of robbers, but that does not lessen the danger he clearly causes.
“The cashier at the Hyde Road petrol station certainly had the measure of him and he twice failed to get away with any genuine cash.
“However, victims of crime react in many different ways and the other victim clearly believed this robber’s threats were genuine.
“To be threatened by a man brandishing any kind of weapon can be a terrifying experience so it is imperative that this man is caught.”
MEAT CLEAVER: Masked robber threatens cashier to hand over cash but leaves emptied handed
The robber struck at B and J Car Spares, Highmead Street, Gorton, on October 3 and managed to escape with money – but he accidently removed his mask before realising his error and pulling it back down.
The incident was not captured on CCTV but police are desperate to catch him before his wild actions injure someone.
“He is clearly reckless and, given his levels of desperation, someone could get hurt next time,” added Detective Sergeant Wild.
The offender is described as white, 20 to 25 years old, about 5ft 6in tall with a slim or medium build, unshaven and spoke with a Manchester accent.
Anyone with information is asked to call North Manchester CID on 0161 856 3543 / 3540 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.