Armed raider threatens staff in post office robbery

AN armed robber threatened staff at a Suffolk post office with a hand gun and a knife before fleeing with cash.

A police hunt was launched after the frightening raid, in which the man entered Hopton Post Office on Thelnetham Road at about 11.12am yesterday, wielding a handgun and a knife.

He threatened staff and was given an amount of cash before leaving the shop on foot, turning right along Thelnetham Road.

Although the cashier and staff were left shaken, no-one was injured in the attack.

Det Insp David Giles said: “This was a very frightening incident for staff at the post office and it is fortunate that no-one was hurt.

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“This type of crime is rare in this area, and Suffolk as a whole, and officers are now carrying out inquiries in the village to speak to any witnesses and recover any further CCTV, as well as provide a high-visibility, reassuring presence for residents.”

The robber is described as white, in his 20s, between 5ft 10ins and 6ft tall and was wearing dark glasses, a grey fleece, light-coloured jeans and a red baseball cap.

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A CCTV image of the man was released by police yesterday afternoon to help track him down.

Police are appealing for witnesses to trace the man’s movements after he was seen running into nearby Holme Close.

He then got into a waiting dark-coloured people carrier driven by a man with a female passenger, which sped off down Thelnetham Road before disappearing.

“I want to speak to anyone who was in Hopton this morning and may have seen the people carrier and its occupants before or after the robbery,” Det Insp Giles said yesterday.

“It is not known in which direction the car went after the robbery, and so I would urge anyone along the Suffolk/Norfolk border who may have seen such a vehicle to get in touch.”

Villagers were left in shock as police cordoned off the post office stores on the corner of High Street while officers scoured the shop for clues.

Resident Rob Barber, 21, said he was surprised at the attack in the quiet country village.

“I was a bit shocked by it,” he said. “You never expect something like this to happen in your village. It’s a bit daunting something like this could happen in Hopton.”

Officers were carrying out inquiries in the area yesterday afternoon, including searches with air support.

Anyone with any information about this incident should contact West Suffolk CID on 01473 613500.

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