POLICE evacuated Darwen’s main post office after a radio stunt was mistaken for a robbery.

Hundreds of people were in the town centre looking for the ‘Real Radio Renegade’ - a mystery man with a £4,000 ‘bounty’ on his head - who was posting clues to his whereabouts on the station’s website.

One clue handed out during an hour’s search yesterday was a photograph of the Post Office counter in The Circus.

As crowds dashed into the building looking for the renegade, two police vans with lights and sirens arrived outside and officers cleared the building, fearing a robbery was underway.

One eyewitness said: “I’ve never seen Darwen so busy.

"When they announced he’d been in the post office, everyone rushed in, and then the police vans turned up with their blues and twos on.

“They cleared out the whole building thinking something bad was going on.”

A spokesman for the post office said: “The police came because one of the people accidentally set off an alarm.

“Everyone was evacuated as a matter of caution, but it was quickly sorted out and there was no damage.

“Whether the renegade was in here or not we don’t know. It’s still a mystery.”

A police spokesman said: “Two response officers attended as they were aware there was a lot more people in the town centre than normal, and the post office was cleared as a precaution, though there was no incident.”

Officers have not spoken to Real Radio about the stunt.

The search for the renegade in Darwen ended fruitless at 2pm, but on Tuesday, mum-of-three Jaime Harris of Darwen pocketed £3,000 by tracking him down in Blackburn.

She said: “I just jumped in the car and headed for Blackburn town centre, parked and walked down the road towards the town asking everyone ‘are you the Real Radio Renegade?’

“I’d only been asking for about three minutes when this guy came up and said I’d found him, I couldn’t believe it.”

She plans to spend the winnings on a holiday.