Police are hunting a man who robbed a bookmakers in Eccles and a bank in Swinton armed only with a handwritten note.
The offender is described as a white man, between 25 and 30 years old, between 5ft 8in and 6ft tall and on two occasions had a trimmed black beard.
He was wearing a baseball cap during each robbery and carried a large black holdall bag.
On Monday 23 March he walked into the William Hill bookmakers on Church Street in Eccles carrying only a black holdall and a handwritten note that said ‘Put the money in the bag or the bomb goes off’.
Terrified staff handed over £300 in cash, and the man calmly walked away towards Eccles bus station.
He struck again at the Royal Bank of Scotland at Stretford Mall at 11.13am on Wednesday 1 April, when he walked in and pretended to be interested in opening an account before slipping the note over to the cashier.
She handed over around £3000 in cash, which he put into the holdall before walking out of the bank towards Kingsway.
Then at 1.46pm on Tuesday 14 April the thief tried the same at Lloyds bank on Chorley Road, Swinton
But this time the cashier challenged the offender, asking: “Are you serious?”
He replied that he was, but when she challenged him again he turned and walked out of the bank empty-handed.
Detective Sergeant Karl Dalton said: “This is by no means a new way to rob a bank, but this man has now struck three times and escaped with a substantial amount of money.
“It is, of course, highly doubtful that he has anything in that bag that could explode, but the intimidation and fear that he creates has twice been enough to force the terrified cashiers to hand cash over to him.
“Fortunately the banks have provided some CCTV footage which we believe will help us to identify this individual and we need the public’s help to do so.
“Take a good look at the footage and if you know this man or believe you have any information which may allow us to identify him, contact police as a matter of urgency.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.