Police probe armed robbery link

DETECTIVES investigating an armed raid on a market town post office are exploring a possible link with similar raids in Suffolk.Armed robbers terrified customers and staff by bursting into the post office at Harleston, just over the Norfolk border, about 5pm on Friday, smashing their way through a reinforced glass partition and escaping with an unknown amount of cash.

By David Green

DETECTIVES investigating an armed raid on a market town post office are exploring a possible link with similar raids in Suffolk.

Armed robbers terrified customers and staff by bursting into the post office at Harleston, just over the Norfolk border, about 5pm on Friday, smashing their way through a reinforced glass partition and escaping with an unknown amount of cash.

It is understood that the blade of an axe was held against the throat of one customer in the incident.


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Norfolk police said yesterday they were liaising with their colleagues over a potential link between the Harleston raid and similar robberies in Suffolk over the past two months.

About 10 robberies - involving post offices and other businesses - are being investigated, including those which took place at Great Cornard, Barrow, Needham Market, East Bergholt, Exning and Brantham.

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Detectives hunting the Harleston robbers yesterday interviewed a 35-year-old man who had been arrested by Essex Police in connection with their enquiries into other crimes.

A Norfolk police spokeswoman said: “The man was later released on police bail and our enquiries are continuing.”

Harleston Post office reopened for business yesterday afternoon after repairs to the damage caused in Friday's raid which took place in full view of town centre shoppers.

One customer ran to the nearby Swan Hotel to raise the alarm as the robbers used staves and an axe to smash their way through the security screen.

No-one was hurt in the incident but customers and staff were left shaken by their ordeal.

Police area appealing for help from the public in finding the robbers.

They are looking for three men, all described as about 6ft tall, who made off in a dark blue or black Ford Fiesta, heading along Mendham Lane towards Harleston Industrial Estate.

Anyone with information should call Det Sgt Tom Smith of Norfolk police on 0845 4564567, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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