Police appeal on getaway cars

Detectives investigating an armed robbery which took place at the McDonald's restaurant in Swaffham on Boxing Day want to hear from anyone who may have seen either of the two cars being linked to the crime.

Detectives investigating an armed robbery which took place at the McDonald's restaurant in Swaffham on Boxing Day want to hear from anyone who may have seen either of the two cars being linked to the crime.

Terrified staff at the Norwich Road fast food restaurant were forced to hand over in excess of £2000 after being threatened by three masked men at 8.30pm on Tuesday.

The robbers are believed to have used a stolen 'C' Class Mercedes car, which is described by witnesses as being silver in colour but extremely dirty, to get away from the scene.

It is possible this vehicle was displaying the false number plates 'K30 SPD' at the time. It was found later the same evening after it had been completely destroyed by fire in the nearby village of North Pickenham.

The other vehicle involved in the inquiry is a red Ford Focus car, with the possible first digits of its registration being 'EO 03' or similar, which may have also been used by the offenders to flee this scene.

It is possible that both of these vehicles may have spent sometime in the vicinity earlier in the day.

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Detectives also spent some time analysing CCTV footage from the restaurant and the neighbouring BP petrol station which revealed that one of the gang of three who stole cash from terrified staff was brandishing a sawn-off shotgun.

But while were able to confirm the other weapons used were a large metal wrench and a baseball bat they were unable to ascertain any more details about the identity of the men involved.

Det Sgt Jason Davis, of Dereham CID, said: “Their faces were completely concealed by balaclavas and they were wearing gloves. They only spoke very briefly to the staff and there was no discernable accent.

“Without question this was a terrifying incident for the young members of staff at the restaurant and they have been put in touch with Victim Support, and offered further support by their employers.

“From the recording of the incident by CCTV, it is apparent that these offenders were well organised and ruthless.

“Police are considering the possible link of this robbery with others carried out in the East Anglian region at similar premises in recent months.”

A spokesman for McDonalds said: “One employee was injured in the robbery and this individual was taken to hospital and treated for a minor injury and shock.

“We are liaising with all employees involved in the incident to offer support and advice and we are currently assisting the police with their enquiries.”

Anyone with information should contact Det Sgt Davis on 0845 456 4567 or anonymously via the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111. Anyone providing information leading to the arrest, charge and conviction of offenders could be eligible for a cash reward.