Armed man sought over robberies
Police believe this man can help with their inquiries. Photo: Supplied
A serial armed bandit, described as a "bold offender" is striking businesses in Melbourne's outer west, police say.
Two armed robberies were committed less than two weeks apart in Taylors Lakes and Albion. Police believe the same man is responsible for both crimes and fear he will strike again.
The first offence happened at a bottle shop on the Melton Highway at Taylors Lakes on February 8.
Senior Constable Di Dale, of the Embona Task Force, said a man armed with a knife entered the store about 9.45pm and demanded the attendant open the cash register.
Another employee entered the counter area, scaring the bandit and foiling his plans. He ran off without any cash.
But on February 20 the offender was successful in stealing a quantity of cash in the hundreds of dollars from a service station on Ballarat Road in Albion.
Senior Constable Dale said threatening an attendant with a handgun.
"He appeared to be armed with an imitation or a real firearm. It is undetermined at this stage what type of firearm it his," Senior Constable Dale said.
He entered the service station about 1.30am forced the attendant to hand over cash before leaving.
He was last seen heading down Marylands Street, a police spokesman said.
Senior Constable Dale said in each offence the man had appeared calm, telling the attendants he was serious after making his demands.
Senior Constable Dale believed the bandit would strike again, and feared the crimes would escalate, given he had stepped up his weaponry from a knife to a hand gun in the first two incidents.
"He is a bold offender," Senior Constable Dale said.
Police released closed circuit television footage images on Friday in an attempt to identify the man.
During attempted robbery at Taylors Lakes he was described as between 20 and 30 years old, white, about 175 centimetres tall, and of a thin build.
In the Albion incident, the description varied little, with police adding that he had short dark hair.
He was wearing a black hat, grey track top, grey pants and white shoes during the Albion robbery, and a black Everlast jumper, dark jeans, white sunglasses and white shoes in the Taylors Lakes incident.
People with information are asked to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.