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CCTV captures ‘screwdriver’ travel agency robber

This is the armed robber police are hunting in relation to raids on seven travel agencies since December.

The thief is now on the run after stealing thousands of pounds from shops in Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Lancashire – and forces are warning he could turn violent.

Agents are advised to be vigilant as fears grow that he could strike again.

Detective sergeant Neil Waterhouse from Staffordshire police told Travel Weekly that the offender had threatened staff and customers.

“He is armed with a screwdriver and a screwdriver can be a lethal weapon,” he said. “We are concerned that the robberies may turn into something more violent in the future.”

It has not been revealed exactly how much has been stolen but a police spokesman said it was “thousands of pounds”.

Trevor Davis, head of retail distribution for The Co-operative Travel, three of whose shops have been targeted, said the industry was sharing information on the crime spree through the Travel Agency Branch Security service, which he co-founded last year.

“Hopefully, the CCTV picture released here by Travel Weekly (above) will add to our agents’ vigilance,” he added.

Steve Abrahamson, Abta’s risk manager, urged agents to make their shops safer by decluttering shop windows and considering installing CCTV.

He added: “Staff shouldn’t try and take any risks at all if a criminal comes in to the shop. They should try to keep calm and do what the person is asking.”

The most recent burglary was a Thomson shop in Stone, Staffordshire.

The suspect is white, aged 40-50, with gaunt features and a pockmarked face. He is thought to drive a Vauxhall Zafira.

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