Armed robbers raid Suffolk store

BALACLAVA -clad raiders brandishing a knife and a baton today tied up terrified store staff in a raid on Woolworth's in Felixstowe.

BALACLAVA -clad raiders brandishing a knife and a baton today tied up terrified store staff in a raid on Woolworth's in Felixstowe.

The robbers stole the contents of the safe at the Hamilton Road store at around 6am.

The alarm was raised at 6.12am by a staff member who had been tied up by the raiders following one of the busiest weekends of the year.

Police were called and were today interviewing staff at the store. Two members of staff were believed to be involved in the incident. They were tied up and locked in a room at the back of the store before freeing themselves.

Two police cars - a patrol vehicle and a Safer Neighbourhood CCTV car - were parked outside the store while members of staff inside could be seen talking to police officers.

There were at least three members of staff at the store early this morning - one of them a cleaner - as the investigation got under way.

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Two men, both wearing balaclavas, raided the store. They entered the shop through the back entrance.

One had a knife and the other was wielding a baton.

A notice on the door of the store told shoppers it would be opening late today and apologised to customers.

Police tape was today also sealing off Highfield Road at the back of the store - from where it receives its deliveries.

No one from Woolworth's at Felixstowe was prepared to comment on the raid today.

Joan Sennington, Felixstowe mayor, said she was surprised to hear of such an incident happening in the town.

“It is out of the ordinary. Felixstowe is not the type of place you would expect to be targeted. It is not something that has happened here before, as far as I am aware. It is very shocking.”

Nearby residents were shocked by the events.

Tina Scott, 32, of Hamilton Road, lives a few doors down from the store. She said: “My husband would have been on his way to work at that time but we didn't hear or see anything at all.

“I'm shocked it's happened. The only thing you hear at night down here is boy racers but nothing else.”

Neil Saint works in The Sandwich Shop nearby. He said: “The first thing I saw when I got to work today was the police car. I got into work about 7.10am but police cars are regular sights these days.”

Anyone with information about the raid should contact Suffolk police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.