December 22 2013 Latest news:
Friday, December 21, 2012
TWO members of staff at Tendring District Council have been praised for their brave efforts to thwart armed robbers who raided a post office in Holland-on-Sea yesterday.
One of the members of staff, who did not wish to be identified, managed to trip one of the robbers as he fled the post office in Stratford Road yesterday morning.
The other employee, who was waiting in his van whilst the other went to buy stamps, tried to block off their escape. This is the second time in just three months the post office has been targeted by armed robbers.
In yesterday’s incident two masked men threatened a Securicor guard delivering cash to the post office and stole £25,000.
One was wielding a baseball bat and the other is believed to be have had a stun gun.
K T King, who owns the post office and is also a Tendring district councillor, said his sister-in-law Doreen Nava was working at the premises when the robbery happened at 9.45am.
She was also working when armed men struck at the post office on October 3. Two men threatened her with a gun and forced her to hand over £3,300. Mr King said: “Mentally it’s quite hard to deal with, especially for Doreen. Even if you have more staff working what can you do if someone has a gun?
“I’ll be getting CCTV cameras installed in the new year but I have to pay for it out of my own pocket.
The man who managed to trip the robber described how he saw one man put a Taser gun to the wrist of the Securicor guard and ordered him to open the box and then his accomplice, who had a bat, ran off with the money.
“As they ran out I managed to clip one of the robber’s feet as he went past me to slow him up and he went to the ground – but I was not going to jump on top of him.”
As the raiders got into their car, the second member of council staff arrived in his van and tried to block off their escape.
“They pulled up onto the pavement and went round the van and I tried to follow them,” he said.
“The robbers had to slow down because of another vehicle but then I lost them.
“As I turned into Madeira Road as I saw their car abandoned in the road with no one inside. I immediately called the police.”
Peter Halliday, the leader of the council, praised the men’s actions.
“I commend them for their community spirit in first trying to stop the raider’s getaway and then for going after them in the van,” he said.
This latest robbery follows a spate of armed raids in the Clacton area. The NatWest bank in the resort’s North Road was targeted on two separate occasions in November and December, while a man brandishing a kitchen knife stole cash from the One Stop shop in St John’s Road on December 9.
Yesterday’s robbers are described as 5ft 8in tall, and of stocky build. One was wearing a grey hooded jacket and the other was wearing a dark blue or black hooded jacket.
Anyone with information about the incident should contact detectives at Clacton CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
The three men wanted for the armed robbery at the same Post Office in October were caught by police and later jailed for a total of nine years.