Police hunt shop raiders

POLICE are hunting robbers who threatened two shop workers with a metal bar during a terrifying raid at a Suffolk store which saw three men escape with a large quantity of cigarettes.

POLICE are hunting robbers who threatened two shop workers with a metal bar during a terrifying raid at a Suffolk store which saw three men escape with a large quantity of cigarettes.

The workers, who were serving at the Londis Shop in Thetford Road, Brandon, were bundled into a back room by the men, who burst into the store and demanded keys to the safe.

But, as the women did not hand over the keys, the men – one of which was carrying a metal bar –instead escaped with a large quantity of cigarettes, which they loaded into black bin bags before escaping on foot.

No-one from the store was available for comment, and the women were left "extremely shaken" by the raid, which happened just after 7am on Christmas Eve.

Police are now appealing for anyone with any information to contact them. They are hoping someone may have seen the offenders run from the scene.

Det Insp Dave Rutterford, of Suffolk police, said: "Although the woman were not injured, they were left extremely shaken by what must have been a terrifying ordeal.

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"First reports indicate that one of the offenders may have left the scene in the direction of the Warren Estate.

"We are particularly keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time of the offence to contact us as a matter of priority. Perhaps you noticed someone in the area carrying a black bin bag, who may have been running or looking agitated?

"Whatever information you have, I would urge you to contact us.

"We would also appeal to anyone who is approached to buy cigarettes in suspicious circumstances to contact us."

The three men were white and around 30 years old. The first was between 6ft and 6ft 3ins tall, of thin build and was unshaven. He wore a cream-coloured fleece with the hood up, with a dark jacket over the top.

The second was around 5ft 10ins tall and wore a dark duffle coat, dark duffle coat, woollen gloves and a dark beanie hat. Police have no further description of the third raider.

Anyone who recognises the descriptions, or with any other information on the incident, should contact Mildenhall CID on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555111.

Meanwhile, police say they are not ruling out the possibility that a series of raids on post offices in east Suffolk are linked.

Robbers struck at Christchurch Street Post Office in Ipswich on Tuesdaynight – the third similar raid on a post office in two weeks.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said there was no particular evidence to suggest the same raiders were responsible for each attack but said they were not ruling it out.

Tuesday's attack, where two masked raiders threatened staff with guns before fleeing empty-handed, came just five days after a raid on a post office in Hacheston, near Wickham Market.

The village post office has fallen victim to three raids and a burglary this year.

Two weeks ago, a pair of raiders also struck at Debenham Post Office. All of the raids have happened at about 5pm.

The latest attack saw a glass screen protecting counter staff smashed, although no shots were fired and nobody was hurt.

The raiders left the premises empty handed and drove off in a Ford Fiesta, which headed towards Tuddenham Road. The car was later found abandoned nearby.

Anyone with information about any of the raids is asked to call Suffolk police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555 111.

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