EXTRA officers have been drafted in to assist police investigating a series of robberies.
Officers in West Lothian are appealing for public help to find the culprits of six robberies that took place at commercial premises and one home.
The robberies took place in Whitburn, Armadale, East Calder, Bathgate and Livingston between Saturday, December 9 and Monday, December 18.
Each of the robberies were carried out by either one or two men, who stole cash on all occasions.
Both suspects are described as being white, around 5ft 10ins to 6ft 2ins tall and wearing dark clothing. One of the suspects was of slim build and the other was stocky. They are both thought to be aged in their mid 20s to mid 30s.
Detective Inspector Graham Garvie, said: “We are still trying to establish if these crimes are linked, but there are a number of similarities and we are progressing our inquiries.
“Whilst none of the victims were seriously injured, we are treating all of these robberies with the utmost seriousness. I would urge the public to assist us with this investigation. Anyone with any information, regardless of how insignificant they think it may be, should contact us immediately to assist us to identify the culprits.”
Chief Inspector Liz Macleod, local area commander for West Lothian, said: “I fully appreciate that these recent robberies will be a great cause of concern for our communities but I assure you our police officers are working tirelessly with the purpose of arresting the offenders. Extra police resources have been brought into West Lothian to focus on this investigation.
“This is a time of year when you will be looking forward to happy holiday time with your friends and families. Such crimes of violence, creating fear and unrest have no place in our community and I give you my assurance that we will do everything in our power to arrest the persons responsible. I plea to you, that if anyone has any information, please do contact us. You may think a small piece of information may not be relevant but it may greatly assist this ongoing investigation.”
“In addition to officers focussing on the investigation, we are also liaising with local businesses to provide them with all the relevant crime prevention advice to safeguard their premises. Where possible, business staff should keep minimum amounts of cash on site, ensure they have appropriate alarms, lighting and locks and always remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity.”