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Men armed with sledgehammer robbed security gurads at Accrington Bank
10:27am Sunday 10th March 2013 in News
MASKED robbers used a sledgehammer and a crowbar to smash their way into a bank before forcing guards to hand over cash.
The two balaclava-clad thieves timed their robbery with the arrival of two G4S security guards delivering money at the Santander bank in Accrington.
The guards were loading cash into the internal ATM machines at 8.40pm when the thieves began forcing their way through the locked exterior doors of the Union Street branch, police said.
After getting into the premises the robbers threatened the guards with a sledgehammer and a crowbar before running off with two cash cassettes.
Detectives said the men made their getaway in a dark-coloured hatchback car, driving along Union Street towards Blackburn Road.
Both of the security guards were unhurt in Thursday’s raid.
Shoppers in Accrington town centre yesterday said they were ‘horrified’ to hear something so serious had happened on such a busy thoroughfare in the town.
Shopper Shagufta Khan, 34, from Accrington, said: “This is so scary, especially it happening on your door step.
“This branch is only quite small and in a small town too so you just don’t expect it.
“I hope the police catch them quickly.”
Gill Clitheroe, 56, who visits Accrington’s high street regularly, said: “Hearing about an incident like this is really unsettling.
“Struggling to make ends meet is not an excuse.”
Another shopper added: “I am really shocked. I came down especially this morning to withdraw my pension.
“I hope someone saw what happened and they get caught.
“This is very frightening.”
DS Ian Procter, of Accrington CID, is leading the investigation.
He said: “An investigation is underway after two masked men armed with a sledgehammer and a crowbar smashed their way into the Santander bank in Accrington.
“A team of officers are reviewing CCTV footage of the area. We are also appealing to anyone who witnessed the robbery to come forward..
“From the CCTV we know there were a number of people in Union Street on Thursday evening and it is those people who I am appealing to.
“The bank is centrally located so I’d urge anyone who witnessed anyone acting suspiciously either on foot or in a vehicle in the vicinity of the bank, in the week leading up to or on the night of the robbery, to contact police.
Officers said it was too soon to say if this robbery was being linked to other cash-in-transit robberies across the country.
A spokesman for Santander said: “We are currently assisting the police with their inquiries so it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”
Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101.