Peter Walsh, Crime correspondent
Friday, December 14, 2012
Detectives are today hunting a masked raider who attacked a security guard with a crowbar before escaping with a quantity of cash following a robbery in Norwich.
The balaclava-clad man struck as two G4S security guards delivered cash to the ATM machine at the Tesco Express store on Aylsham Road at about 6.45am yesterday.
He hit one of the guards on the arm before stealing a quantity of cash before leaving the scene in a dark coloured estate car.
The offender, who is described as white, about 5ft 8ins tall and stocky, was wearing black clothing at the time of the incident and appeared to swear at the guards before the attack. It is believed he is English.
The guard, who has not been named, was injured during the attack and taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for treatment.
A spokesman for the security firm has today condemned the “violent attack” and said both guards are to be offered counselling as a result.
He said: “A violent attack was made on one of our cash vehicles on Aylsham Road in Norwich.
One of our couriers was injured and has received treatment in hospital. Fortunately, he has been able to return home. The psychological impact that attacks of this nature can have on individuals should not be underestimated and both members of the crew have been offered counselling.
“We take the safety and welfare of our staff extremely seriously and we work closely with the police and our technology providers to give our crews the best possible protection. Our staff have the right to expect to be able to go about their duties without fear of attack and we are working with the police so that those responsible for this incident can be made accountable for their actions in court.”
Detective Sergeant Richard Dickinson of Norwich CID would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the robbery or has any information concerning it.
He is particularly keen to speak to anyone who might have used the cash machine at the Barclays Bank opposite the Tesco store at the time of the incident.
He said: “We are pursuing lines of enquiry and these will continue in the coming days. The offender was wearing a balaclava at the time of the incident. I’d appeal for anyone who may have been using the Barclays cash-point machine across the road from the Tesco Express on Aylsham Road or who saw any suspicious activity at around the time of the incident to call police. Your information may prove valuable in locating offender.”
The stationary G4S van parked next to the store cash point was sealed off following the robbery as part of a cordon which covered the front of the store which is sandwiched between Mecca Bingo and Angling Direct.
Scenes of crime officers joined detectives in the hunt for vital clues that might help in the search for the perpetrator.
Neighbours living close to the store on the busy Aylsham Road spoke of their shock after waking up to discover what had happened.
Roger Aspland, who runs the nearby Aspland Van Centre, said he discovered what had happened on arriving at work.
He said: “I just got here and saw it cordoned off. As I pulled up all the police cars were here and the ambulance had already gone.
“I didn’t know what had happened, I thought there had been a fight and saw the van and thought it must’ve had something to do with it.”
David Smart, 73, who lives on Aylsham Road said he only found out what happened when he went to buy some mushrooms and tomatoes for breakfast but was not allowed in.
He said: “it’s terrible. I feel sorry for the security guard and hope he makes a recovery. It needs stopping things like this.”
One woman, who did not want to be named, said she was “shocked” and described the incident as “horrible”.
Anyone with information about the robbery should call Det Sgt Dickinson on 101 or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.