POLICE are hunting a suspected armed robber who is thought to have targeted bookmakers, restaurants and off-licences in Bolton and across Greater Manchester.

They want to trace Peter Thomas, aged 27, in connection with a string of armed robberies at businesses.

Police believe the same man is responsible for 15 robberies, four of which were in Lancashire, with the remainder in Bolton, Stockport and Cheadle.

The last robbery took place yesterday at the William Hill bookmakers in Adswood.

Restaurants, convenience stores and off-licences are among the businesses that have also been raided.

On the majority of occasions, the robber calmly queued up, then, when he has reached the till, produced a handwritten note claiming he has a gun and demanding money from the cashier.

No one has been injured during the robberies although staff have been shaken up.

Police have now released a picture of Thomas and are appealing to anyone who knows of his whereabouts to come forward.

Det Ch Insp Tony Heslop said: "We have circulated a picture of a man we want to speak to and I would urge anyone who has information about his whereabouts to call us.

"I would also ask businesses, particularly in the Stockport and Cheadle areas, to be on their guard and take a good look at the picture and if you see this man in your shop, please call police immediately."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 999, 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.