DETECTIVES have launched a major investigation after teenagers were mugged as part of a series of street robberies involving weapons in Accrington.

All four robberies took place in the town on Monday and officers have said at least two of them are linked.

The first robbery happened at shortly before 1.30pm when a man was mugged close to the Asda store on Hyndburn Road by two men, one of whom was armed with a knife.

The first robber is described as a white man, approximately 6ft tall, unshaven and spoke with a Lancashire accent.

He appeared to be under the influence of drink or drugs. He was wearing a red jacket with hood pulled up, blue jeans or joggers and trainers with blue uppers.

The other robber was a white man wearing a white/grey hoody with a padded blue body warmer over the top, blue jeans/joggers and white trainers.

Police said the second robbery took place near Lancaster Avenue shortly before 2pm when a 16-year-old girl and her two friends were approached, threatened and told to hand over their phones, which they did.

The first robber is described as wearing a red waist length puffer jacket with a silver brand name beginning with H, dark blue tracksuit bottoms or jeans and Nike TNS trainers. He looked approximately 30-years-old, was 6ft tall, quite chubby, with a round face and has with pale skin.

The second man is described as wearing a white/silver hoody and tracksuit and is 6ft tall. They were both described as being ‘on something’.

The third robbery happened at 6.20pm on Owen Street at the junction of Belgarth Road when two 15-year-old-boys were approached by two men who demanded money. They both handed over a small amount and the robbers left the scene.

The first robber is described as being white, between 19 to 20-years-old, 6ft tall, scrawny, wearing half of a white mask on his face up to his nose, a North Face jacket in black, black joggers and trainers. The second is white, 19 to 20-years-old, with facial stubble, wearing a dark coloured jumper with hood up and dark joggers.

The fourth incident happened at around 8.15pm when a man was approached at Platt Social Club and threatened with a sword but the suspects left empty handed. The robbers are described as being 22 to 25-years-old, white and wearing all black tracksuits. One was carrying a Tesco carrier bag.

Following the incidents police have stepped up patrols in the town.

Detective Inspector Rach Higson said: “These are serious offences which I appreciate will have caused some concern in the local community. We have a team of officers making enquiries and detectives are working closely with the neighbourhood policing team to proactively identify and locate the offenders.

“I would appeal to anyone with any information to contact us on 101, or independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”