Pub boss tied up in robbery

POLICE are hunting armed robbers who raided an historic Essex pub, leaving its terrified manager tied up with tape.Pub manager Mark Bedlow was left badly shaken after robbers burst through the doors at the Swan Inn at Chappel - moments after the last member of staff had left for the night.

POLICE are hunting armed robbers who raided an historic Essex pub, leaving its terrified manager tied up with tape.

Pub manager Mark Bedlow was left badly shaken after robbers burst through the doors at the Swan Inn at Chappel - moments after the last member of staff had left for the night.

Mr Bedlow had just locked the pub's safe with the Bank Holiday takings – believed to be several thousand pounds – when the attack happened shortly before midnight on Monday.

The robbers threatened him with a knife, tied his hands and legs with duct tape and covered his head with a jacket before making him lie on the floor and ransacking the office.


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They took the safe keys from Mr Bedlow, who has been employed at the pub for 13 years, and made off with a "substantial" amount of money, according to police yesterday.

Mr Bedlow managed to free a hand and he phoned the police and the pub's owner, Terry Martin, who both arrived soon after.

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Unharmed, but badly shaken from the ordeal, Mr Bedlow was yesterday interviewed by police, who were carrying out a thorough examination of the scene.

Mr Martin said: "I've had this pub for 23 years now and nothing like this has ever happened before. I think they must have been waiting for everyone to leave before coming in.

"They managed to do it before we had chance to switch the alarm system on."

He urged anyone with any information to help trap the robbers.

He added: "Mr Bedlow was unharmed, although he was very shaken, and he stayed with us for the night."

It is not known how many attackers were involved in the robbery, but police asked people who saw anything around 11.45pm to come forward.

They said the robbers were wearing bomber jackets and had their faces covered and asked anyone who may have seen a vehicle in the area of the pub in The Street, Chappel, from 11.30pm to midnight, to call them.

Witnesses are asked to call police on 01206 762212 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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