POLICE Scotland are appealing for witnesses after a Kincardine post office was one of three targeted by armed robbers across Fife this afternoon.

Officers have confirmed that the premises on Elphinstone Street was one of a "spate of incidents" that took place across Fife and in West Lothian.

The first took place at around 12.15pm in Cowdenbeath when a man attempted to access behind the counter area at the post office on the High Street. He was refused and left the premises.

A short time later, at around 12.40pm, a man in possession of a knife entered a premises in Burntisland High Street, where he made off with a sum of cash before staff contacted police.

Officers were then alerted to a third incident at the post office in Elphinstone Street, Kincardine, which occurred around 2.15pm.

A man in possession of a weapon entered and assaulted the female shopkeeper before making off with a quantity of cash. 

Given the circumstances of the crimes officers are considering the links to an earlier theft in Linlithgow. 

At around 11.25 a.m. on Monday 9th January after a man entered, stole a sum of cash from the till.

The suspect in each incident is described as white, in his thirties with a stocky build, stubbly complexion and wearing dark clothing and a high-visibility jacket.

Detective Inspector Colin Robson from Dunfermline CID said: “These incidents were all extremely alarming for the staff involved and we are providing each of those affected with all the support they require will they assist us with our ongoing inquiries.

“We believe the same male was responsible for each of these crimes and would ask that anyone who can help us to identify this individual contacts police immediately.

“Anyone with any other information relevant to this investigation is also urged to get in touch.”

“We are also working closely with Post Office Counters with a view to raising awareness and prevent further crimes.”

Those with information can contact Police Scotland on 101 or alternatively, the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.