Accrington has been left reeling following three shock raids in four days.

It comes after:

A knifeman threatened staff at Althams Travel, on Blackburn Road, before making off with £9,000.

A masked gunman threatened staff at the HSBC branch on the same road during a bungled robbery.

And raiders forced their way into the Spinning Jenny pub, on Rimmington Avenue, as the landlady’s family slept upstairs, and took around £2,000 worth of money and alcohol, including cash for charity.

Police believe that the two armed robberies may be linked.

Althams manager Rachael Power, who is 20 weeks pregnant, and three other female staff were left terrified after the knifeman threatened them.

The mum-of-two said: “He just walked in so blasé and didn’t even mask his face. Everyone was so terrified. I just wanted him to be gone as I am pregnant and all I was thinking about was my other children.

“I have worked at Althams for 16 years and never experienced anything like that.” Detectives have released a CCTV image of a man they want to speak to in connection with the raid.

The man entered the travel agents at around 11.20am on Thursday, July 4, demanding cash.

He forced his way into a back room and took around £9,000 worth of Euros and various other currencies.

CCTV video of the man walking into the travel agents:

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Miss Power, 33, from Accrington added: “Normally when somebody comes in you have time to look up, but we didn’t even have a chance to do that.

“The first thing we saw was him holding a knife in his hand and he came at me very fast. 

“I couldn’t believe none of us were crying when it was happening.”

The store shut for a while, but reopened later that day.

The man is white, stocky, in his 30s and thought to be between 5ft 8in and 6ft.

He was wearing a dark coloured hooded top, a dark hat and gloves and made off in the direction of Stanley Street and Park Street.

A day  later,  at around 2pm on Friday, July 5, a masked gunman wearing a hi-visibility jacket threatened staff at the HSBC, on Blackburn Road.

He waved the gun towards staff before fleeing the scene empty handed.

Police later recovered a motorcycle helmet and an imitation firearm on nearby Cannon Street. A HSBC spokesperson said no money was stolen from the bank and no customers or staff were injured.

Police said staff were left shocked by the traumatic incident.