Police have released CCTV footage of a man suspected of threatening a receptionist with a ‘zombie knife' after being discovered trying to steal luggage from a central London hotel.
The suspect had entered the hotel, in Prince's Square, Bayswater, just before midnight on Thursday 28 June and told reception staff he was a guest, giving a fake name. As staff checked computer records the man slipped away.
The suspect went to a store room and used a knife to rip open luggage belonging to other guests in what police believe was a bid to steal the contents.
A reception worker searched five storeys of the hotel for the man before being alerted to a mess left in the kitchen, where the would-be thief had helped himself to food and drink, leaving a trail of sandwiches, fruit and broken glass.
The worker found the suspect in the nearby storeroom, where police said the man brandished a large serrated knife and shouted, "I will kill you!" before escaping the property through a fire exit.
Hundreds of pounds worth of damage was done to the luggage, but it is believed the suspect was interrupted before he could steal any of the goods inside.
Detective constable Kelly Mulder of Westminster CID, who is leading the investigation, said: "We have spent some months trying unsuccessfully to identify this man through our internal channels and now really need the public to help us. Do you recognise this man?
"If so, please contact us as soon as possible. He has shown he is prepared to use a high level of aggression and an extremely vicious weapon when challenged.
"The victim, who bravely stood up to this man even though he was on his own, had only just recently come to this country for his studies, and has been left very frightened and distressed. He is now anxious whenever he works alone."
The suspect is described as being a black male, around 6ft 2ins tall, of thin build, with a shaved head and dark eyes. He was wearing a black top, light blue jeans, and black trainers, which did not appear to be in good condition.
Anyone with information can call police on 101 quoting reference CAD1764/29thJune or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.