AN ARMED robbery at a McDonald’s restaurant is being linked to similar raids at KFC in St Helens and a store in Newton-le-Willows, the Star understands.

Thugs armed with a machete and a knife threatened staff at McDonald’s at Chalon Way West before making off with cash in the early hours of this Thursday, September 6. 

Two men, one carrying a machete and the other carrying a knife, entered the restaurant, threatened staff and made off on foot with a large quantity of money. 

It was the second reported armed robbery at a fast food restaurant within a week, after KFC on Todd Road was held up by a machete wielding thug on Saturday, September 1.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, August 28 the High Spirits Off Licence on Wargrave Road, Newton-le-Willows was targeted by a robber with a knife.

Detectives are investigating whether the crime spree is connected to robberies in other areas, including at takeaway restaurants in Salford and Widnes.

This week they revealed two men and a woman had been arrested as part of their investigation into the McDonald’s robbery.

A 31-year-old man from Newton-le-Willows and a 47-year-old man, of no fixed address, were arrested on suspicion of robbery.

They have been released under investigation.

Meanwhile, a 44-year-old woman, from Newton-le-Willows, was also arrested on suspicion of robbery and has been released on conditional bail.

Police, who increased patrols around takeaway restaurants in response to the robberies, are confident they have a number of positive leads in their investigation.

Speaking following the McDonald’s raid, Detective Inspector Louise Birchall: “Although this was an extremely traumatic experience for all those involved, I’m thankful no one was hurt and no members of the public were present. 

“The men are both described as having local accents, having their faces covered and wearing gloves. 

“We are adamant we will find those responsible and are currently working with the McDonald’s staff to check CCTV and conduct forensic analysis. 

“If you witnessed anyone acting suspiciously, please contact @MerPolCC or 101 quoting: 18200187459 as a matter of urgency and help us bring these people to justice.”