A MAN suspected of carrying out two gunpoint raids on the same convenience store in Birchwood has been released by police as investigations into the armed robberies continue.

McColl's on Admirals Road was targeted by a robber brandishing a gun twice in the space of just over a month.

The first incident at the Oakwood Centre store came at around 8.30pm on Saturday, February 16, when an offender threatened members of staff with the weapon and demanded money from the till.

He stashed a quantity of cash in a plastic bag and stole cigarettes before fleeing via the back of the building and Whitethroat Walk.

Then, shortly after 10.30pm on Friday, March 22, a man brandishing a firearm entered the newsagents and pointed the gun at staff.

The male demanded that they open the till before filling a black bin bag with its contents and leaving the shop.

Last week, a 55-year-old man from Warrington was arrested on suspicion of robbery in connection with the incident.

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Police executed a search warrant at a property on Forbes Close in the early hours of Friday, April 12 – with armed officers carrying out a dawn raid.

But the man who was arrested at the scene has since been released under investigation.

An eyewitness told the Warrington Guardian: "The armed police officers came at 5.30am – eight of them came in four separate BMW people carriers.

"Two more police cars turned up at about 7am, and by about 10am two big riot vans were parked up there.

"There were forensics officers there as well – there were three of them who spent more than an hour walking backwards and forwards to their van putting evidence into it."

Detective constable Tom Ashton had earlier said of the first robbery: "This was a terrifying incident, and the shop workers and the customer who were threatened by the offender have understandably been left extremely shaken up."