DETECTIVES are investigating three robberies in Colchester within 12 hours.

It is not yet known if the robberies, in Port Lane, Castle Park and Maldon Road, are connected.

Yesterday, at 12.15am, an 18-year-old from Colchester, was pushed to the floor by a gang of three men who demanded money.

He handed them what cash he had and they made off towards the town centre.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "One was described as slim wearing a dark hooded jumper with the hood up and dark trousers.

"Police need to identify a motorist driving along Maldon Road at 12.15am who may have disturbed the offenders."

At 1.40am a man in his 30s from Colchester was held up by a knife-wielding criminal.

The suspect is white, aged 16 to 20, was wearing an olive coloured hooded top with dark lettering on the chest and the hood up, baggy tracksuit bottoms and dark trainers.

The suspect ran off with a bag.

At 12.10pm, in Port Lane, a man in his 30s felt someone pulling at his bag.

He was pushed into a wall and fell.

More than £100, an Apple iPad and an Apple Mac Book Pro computer were stolen.

Two suspects fled the scene.

One wore dark jeans or tracksuit bottoms, a grey or cream hooded jumper and a dark cap while the other wore a dark tracksuit or jeans.

Anyone with information about the robberies call Colchester CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.