A petrol station and fast food outlet were targeted by armed thieves at the weekend.
The first incident took place at around 10.40pm, on January 29, when a man wearing a balaclava, armed with a small black bag and a machete, entered the Knock Road station, close to the Shandon Golf Club.
After threatening to kill the staff, he left with a sum of money via the front door and headed towards the carriage way.
He is described as about 6ft 1 or 2ins tall, slim build and wearing a khaki green parka jacket with a fur-edged hood, blue jeans and white trainers with three back stripes.
In a separate incident a man brandishing what’s believed to have been a samurai sword entered a take-away restaurant on the Beersbridge Road, at around 11.30pm on the same night.
After threatening to kill staff he was given a small amount of cash from the till and left when an accomplice entered and persuaded him to do so.
A police spokesperson said: “Both males are thought to be in their late teens. The robber with the sword was about 5ft 7ins tall, slim and wearing a waist-length green jacket and black balaclava. He spoke with a Belfast accent. His sword was about 2ft long with a thin blade.”
Victoria councillor Robin Newton condemned the attacks on businesses which “offer a service to the local community”.
He added: “I am appealing for the community of east Belfast to support the efforts of the police in catching those who carry out these despicable crimes.”
Anyone with information on either of these robberies should contact police on 0845 600 8000.