POLICE have released a CCTV image of the armed robbers who raided an Ellesmere Port betting shop.

The three men, who were brandishing an axe and a machete, targeted David Pluck bookmakers in Rossmore Road West at about 8.50pm on Wednesday, July 2.

Officers believe the same gang were responsible for a raid on Ladbrokes Bookmakers in Clubmoor, Liverpool at 12.20pm the previous day.

They are urging anyone who recognises the men to contact them.

During the Ellesmere Port raid one of the offenders stood at the front of the shop while the other two tried to smash the security glass at the counter.

After failing to do so they climbed over it and stole cash before fleeing on foot towards the A41.

A member of staff and a customer were inside the bookmakers at the time of the raid but were not injured.

The first man is described as slim. He was wearing dark clothing, black shoes, gloves and a Balaclava and carrying a dark rucksack and an axe.

The second man was also slim, wearing dark trousers and a black hooded top with stripes on the arms, pulled over his head.

The third offender was wearing a blue hooded top, black trousers and balaclava, dark shoes and was carrying a large machete.

During the robbery in Liverpool, one man again held the door open while the two other raiders smashed the security glass in front of the tills using an axe which had an orange handle.

They then jumped over the counter and stole cash before fleeing the scene.

If you have any information on either of the two raids, contact Merseyside Police on 0151 709 6010 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111.