Police from Mill Park Serious Crime Taskforce are investigating two armed robberies which occurred in Thomastown last month.
In the first incident, three male offenders drove up to a Barry Road business in a late-model silver Lexus SUV about 8.45pm.
They reversed the car to the entrance and two men exited the vehicle wearing balaclavas.
One male armed with a golf club struck the glass door, causing it to crack, and then entered and threatened a 53-year-old female staff member.
The other offender armed with a knife entered a residence connected to the shop and chased the 50-year-old male occupant before returning to the shop.
The men made demands for cigarettes which they loaded into a bag before getting back into the Lexus and driving off east on Barry Road.
The shop keeper’s children and their grandmother were present in the residence at the time of the incident but did not witness anything.
Police believe the same offenders struck again at an Alexander Avenue supermarket about 6.40pm on 30 June.
Four offenders, all believed to be male, reverse parked a Silver Holden Commodore station wagon bearing stolen number plates XFB 005 in the supermarket car park.
Three offenders left the vehicle and entered the supermarket, all with their faces covered and wearing gloves, one armed with a gas strut.
The trio assaulted the victim, a 54-year-old Thomastown man.
One offender then restrained the victim while the other two stole cigarettes, placing them in a doona.
The three offenders fled from the store to the vehicle while the victim chased them.
They were last seen driving east towards Dalton Road.
The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries and was treated at the scene.
One offender was wearing black clothing, black shoes and red gloves.
The second was wearing a grey and black Nike hooded jumper, grey Champion track suit pants and black and white runners.
The third offender was wearing a grey Nike hooded jumper, black track suit pants with a ‘red 23’ motif on the leg and black runners.
Investigators believe the incidents may be linked and are urging anyone with information to come forward.
Police have released images and CCTV footage of the offenders and vehicles in the hope that someone may recognise them and have information on their whereabouts.
Anyone who witnessed the incidents or with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a confidential online report at www.crimestoppers.com.au