SHOPKEEPERS have been urged to be vigilant after three armed robberies in Southampton and the New Forest.

Police have issued CCTV of a man they want to speak to following the incidents in Totton, Southampton and Bransgore.

Officers say the first robbery happened at Bargain Booze in Millbrook Road East, Southampton at 9.45pm on January 14.

A knife-wielding man walked into the store, grabbed the cashier and demanded money from the till, then took £140 and left.

The second incident happened at Mason's on Main Road, Totton, just before 8.30pm on January 25, and the third at the Co-op on Oak Tree Parade, Bransgore, just after 9pm on January 28.

In both of these robberies a man with a knife stole cigarettes, alcohol and money from the tills.

A 37-year-old man from Southampton has been arrested on suspicion of robbery and released under investigation.

Detective Sergeant Dal Andrews said: “We have been carrying out various enquiries into these three robberies and believe that they are all linked.

“Fortunately no one has been injured as a result of these incidents but staff have been left understandably shaken by what has happened.

“I would like to remind those working in local convenience stores to remain vigilant, especially around closing time, and please do not hesitate to call us if you see anyone suspicious hanging around.

“Our neighbourhood officers will be carrying out patrols so please speak to them if you have any concerns.

“We also know that the man responsible for these robberies has been using a black holdall, so let us know if you find one that may have been discarded anywhere.”

She added: “We are particularly keen to speak to the man seen in the CCTV image as we believe he may have information that could prove vital to this investigation.

“We have also issued this e-fit image in the hope that someone will recognise him.

“If you think you know who this man is, or if you see anyone acting suspiciously outside your local shop, please get in touch.”

Anyone with information can call police on 101, quoting reference number 44180017880, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.