Teenagers were threatened at knifepoint in broad daylight during two separate incidents in Bedford on Wednesday (June 26).
Between 4.50pm and 5pm two boys were walking along Rothsay Gardens towards Goldington Road when they were approach by a man in his 30s who produced a knife and demanded they hand over their personal belongings.
The victims managed to flee the scene without the man taking anything.
The offender was described as bald, with a beard, and was wearing baggy jeans and a hooded top.
Around an hour later a 14-year-old boy was threatened by a man with a knife as he withdrew money from a Natwest cashpoint in the High Street. The offender then escaped with the cash.
He matched a similar description, wearing similar clothing, was thought to be around 5ft 9ins, had a gold tooth, and had one of his front teeth missing.
Detective Sergeant Simon Hancock, from the force’s serious and complex crime team, said: “We are treating these incidents as linked and believe the offender has deliberately targeted young victims.
“Robbery is a terrifying offence and especially when threatened with a weapon. We will not tolerate this behaviour and are keen to speak to anyone who may have information that could help us identify this man.
“If anyone witnessed the incidents or saw a man acting suspiciously matching the description please get in touch.”
Contact DS Hancock on 101, or submit information online via www.bedfordshire.police.uk/report