A SECOND Southampton pub has been robbed by masked men in as many weeks, although police say they are not linking the incidents.

Officers launched a hunt for three masked men after being called to the Malvern Tavern pub in Winchester Road at around 11.45pm on Friday.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: “Three people who were wearing dark clothing and who had their faces covered, were disturbed trying to force a rear door while staff were locking up at around 11:30pm. They subsequently threatened staff and customers and stole cash. No-one was hurt.”

Detective Inspector Luke Aslam added: “This is a rare occurrence and I’m keen to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area around the pub between 10:30pm and midnight last night.

“The three people left on foot, but we believe they may have subsequently used a vehicle.

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“It is likely that any vehicle could have been parked on Malvern Road, Seymour Road, Fuchsia Gardens, Arlowe Drive, or Winchester Road.

“I’m also keen to hear from you if you have dashcam footage from the Winchester Road area between Romsey Road and Burgess Road that could assist our enquiries.

“Officers are carrying out enquiries in the area and will also be undertaking patrols as part of our investigation”.

The incident comes after a robbery at another of the region’s pubs earlier this month.

As previously reported, staff at the the Walnut Tree pub in Nursling were threatened by a gang of robbers armed with knives on May 5.

The gang of at least four were described by police as wearing balaclavas and dark clothing as they burst into the Walnut Tree pub via a rear door at around midnight.

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The suspects threatened members of staff before accessing a safe on the premises, stealing cash and making off in the direction of Frogmore Lane and Redbridge Lane.

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Colin White said at the time: “The suspects carried off four plastic till trays and a metal cash tin.

“We believe this to be a targeted incident.

“No-one was injured during the incident but the members of staff involved were understandably shocked and extremely distressed.”

A spokesman said the two robberies are not currently being linked by officers, adding there have been no arrests.

Anyone with information about the Malvern robbery is asked to call police on 101 quoting reference 44190170696 or 44190155145 for the Nursling incident. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.