Detectives in Eastbourne are searching for two men, one wielding an axe, who robbed two local convenience stores less than 15 minutes apart.
At 9.20pm on Saturday (November 24) the pair entered the Tesco store in Seaside and stole about £200 cash.
Just after 9.30pm the same men entered the Co-op store in Milfoil Drive where they took about £600.
At both stores they demanded money, one striking the lottery stand and counter with his axe to intimidate the staff.
The other suspect went behind the counters, also to intimidate staff, and stole alcohol from behind the counter in Tesco.
They used bags from the stores to put the money in.
After the Co-Op robbery they were seen to run off down Alverston Close.
Police say the staff at both stores were not physically injured but were very shaken by the events.
Detective Sergeant Amanda Hover said, “From the descriptions and circumstances it is clear the same men committed both robberies.
“If you were in Seaside, or Milfoil Drive, or the roads between them, after 9pm on Saturday night, and saw these men entering or leaving the stores, or nearby, please contact us online or by calling 101, quoting serial 1081 of 24/11.
“There is currently no information about any vehicle used but even though the stores are not far from each other, we believe a vehicle would have been needed,
“You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”