A BIRKENHEAD woman has been arrested in connection with a series of knifepoint raids on shops across Wirral.

The 44-year-old woman was questioned by police after a Bargain Booze store in Hoylake was robbed on Sunday, which marked the fourth knifepoint raid in two weeks.

She was arrested on Monday in connection with all four incidents and has since been bailed pending further enquiries.

Each raid involved a knife-wielding man wearing a mask entering the premises, before threatening staff and demanding cash, cigarettes and tobacco.

Police believe the raids – which all took place between 8.30pm and 9pm – could be linked and are investigating whether a getaway car was used in each one.

Detectives are now appealing for information following the latest armed robbery, which happened in Hoylake on Sunday, February 23.

Officers were called to the Bargain Booze store on Birkenhead Road at around 8.50pm on Sunday after a man entered the premises armed with a knife.

The man, who covered his face, threatened staff members before stealing a quantity of cash and cigarettes and leaving the store on foot.

Similar offences took place earlier this month.

The first took place just after 8pm on Monday, February 10 at Betfred, Conway Street when a man brandishing a large knife demanded cash from the till.

He left empty-handed after the store’s female managed refused to hand over the cash.

On Wednesday, February 12, Simply Food and Drinks on Wellington Road, Birkenhead also fell victim to a similar raid, which happened just after 9pm.

A man, described as covering his face with a scarf, escaped with a small quantity of cash, tobacco and cigarettes after pulling a knife on two female shop assistants.

On Sunday, February 16, another Bargain Booze on Pensby Road, was robbed at around 8.50pm.

A man, who again covered his face with a scarf and a hood, threatened two female shop workers with a knife and demanded they open the till.

He escaped through the front door and jumped into a getaway car – believed to be a Ford Fiesta - around the corner in Laurelhurst Avenue, which drove off towards Heswall.

A 44-year-old man from Birkenhead was arrested in connection with this raid on Monday night and remains in police custody.

Detective Inspector John Griffiths said: "These robberies are not victimless crimes, and while thankfully no-one has been injured in any of these incident, the staff members have been deeply affected by their ordeals.

"We are working hard to trace the offender(s) responsible for these incidents, which at this time we believe may be linked, but I would appeal to anyone who has any information about any of them to get in contact.

"My officers are continuing to examine CCTV from each incident and each scene has been forensically examined. I would ask anyone who has any information about any of these incidents to get in contact – I am especially keen to speak to anyone who noticed a car in each of the areas at the time of the offences or anyone acting suspiciously in the area. Any information could be vital to our investigation.”

Anyone with any information about this incident should call Wirral CID on 0151 777 2265 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.