Is this Britain’s most desperate thief? Police release CCTV footage of Christmas Eve robbery on Oldham post office

Officers believe the man was muttering about having no money to buy his children Christmas presents prior to 'spur-of-the-moment' raid

Greater Manchester Police have released CCTV footage showing the moment a desperate man launched a “ham-fisted” attempt to break into a post office in Oldham.

Officers believe the man had been pacing around outside the building in Failsworth on Christmas Eve, making comments about how he couldn’t afford to buy presents for his children and that he “may as well do the post office”.

Video footage shows him nervously entering the post office at 11am, demanding cash from staff and trying to gain access to a locked door.

When that fails, he tries to use a National Lottery ticket stand to smash through a window.

Having had no success whatsoever, the man finally comes up with a plan to smash through the ceiling tiles, lifting himself up and dropping down in the secure area on the other side of the glass.

The man can eventually be seen escaping with some cash, and police have now launched a manhunt to track down the seemingly spur-of-the-moment robber.

He is described as being white, of a pale complexion, about 6ft tall, of a slim build and in his 20s. He was also said to have wide, pale blue eyes and was wearing a black woollen balaclava, blue tracksuit and thick black gloves.

Detective Constable Tony Anwas said: “This CCTV paints perfectly the picture of just how desperate this man was to get his hands on some cash.

“I believe he has made a spur-of-the-moment decision to rob the Post Office, and has executed his plan in a rushed and ham-fisted manner.

“We believe he was pacing about beforehand and making several comments about his dire financial position and inability to afford Christmas gifts.

“If you were outside and saw or spoke to this person we really need to hear from you.

“We also need to hear from anyone who knows who the person responsible is or who, having viewed the CCTV, recognises someone from the build of the man, the way he has walked or the clothing worn.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestopppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.