Robbers disguised in burkhas were being hunted by detectives today.
Two police forces are investigating three robberies which have been carried out recently by men dressed in the Islamic garment.
Bedfordshire police are investigating robberies in two separate travel agents in the past two months.
A force spokesman said that in the first, a man dressed in a black burkha went into First Choice Travel in The Broadway, Dunstable, on Tuesday 7 July, at around 10.15am.
He threatened two female members of staff with a knife, then took a "substantial amount of cash" and escaped through a back door, police said.
More than a month later, on Sunday 16 August, a man dressed in a black burkha threatened two female members of staff at Thomson travel agent in George Street, Luton at about 10.55am.
He made off with a large amount of cash, and escaped through the front door before heading off on foot.
In a third incident on Tuesday in neighbouring Oxfordshire, armed robbers - one wearing a burkha - stole watches worth £150,000.
Three men went into Michael Jones Jewellers in Banbury High Street at about 2.20pm. They threatened four members of staff, a man and three women, with what is described as a handgun and an axe, and stole watches worth around £150,000, Thames Valley Police said.
The men left the shop and got into a waiting black Audi Estate, which then drove off towards Broad Street.
Police said the men were of Asian appearance and two were wearing dark clothing with their faces covered. The third was dressed in a burkha.
Detectives from both forces called for any witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.
Det Con Steve Guerin, from Bedfordshire Police, who is investigating the Luton robbery, said: "Officers are keeping an open mind as to whether these incidents are connected but the pattern the offenders have followed is strikingly similar."Reuse content