Police are searching for escaped armed robber, menacingly nicknamed the Skull Cracker, in Teddington this afternoon.

Officers are currently looking in Broom Road, the high street and near the Anglers pub for absconded prisoner Michael Wheatley.

The search follows a sighting of the 55-year-old in Strawberry Hill, near Twickenham, on Monday, May 5, at about 7.55pm.

Police are currently investigating whether an armed raid on the Chelsea Building Society in Sunbury is linked to the hunt for Wheatley.

Police searched the Twickenham area on Monday night but he was not found.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "We were called to an address in Twickenham at 7.55pm following the sighting.

"On arrival, officers searched the area but he was not found.

"We are continuing to work with Kent Police."

Wheatley was given 13 life sentences in 2002 for a series of violent raids on banks and building societies.

The crimes were committed between 2001 and 2002, at a range of locations from Southampton to Hertfordshire, while on parole from a 27-year sentence for other robberies.

Kent Police say he failed to return to HMP Standford Hill open prison on the Isle of Sheppey.

He earned the infamous nickname Skull Cracker after pistol-whipping his victims.