British police search for fugitive armed robber 'Skull Cracker'

British police searching for a fugitive armed robber nicknamed "Skull Cracker" are investigating whether he has struck again.

Michael Wheatley was given 13 life sentences in 2002 for a series of violent raids on banks. On Saturday, he was granted a day release license from a low-security prison in Kent in southeast England, but failed to return.

Police are trying to establish whether the 55-year-old Wheatley was responsible for an armed robbery at a branch of the Chelsea Building Society in Surrey, near London, on Wednesday.

Wheatley got his nickname for striking his victims with his pistol during the bank raids. Police believe he boarded a train to London, where he was seen on Monday.

The case has prompted critics to call for tighter rules for day release licenses.