Masked raid gang had axes and crow­bars

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update - By TARA DUN­DON

DE­TEC­TIVES are hunt­ing a group of masked men who threat­ened staff with crow­bars and axes at a hi-tech com­pany in Peter­bor­ough.

The bala­clava-clad gang of seven men raided GPSK Ltd, who spe­cialise in sell­ing satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems, in Pa­pyrus Road, Wer­ring­ton, on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

Armed with axes and crow­bars, they stormed through the doors of the small busi­ness unit at 5.50pm and threat­ened staff with their weapons while de­mand­ing equip­ment and money.

But the men were out-num­bered by staff and, quickly re­al­is­ing they were out of their depth, they bun­dled into a get­away van and drove off at speed, with­out any goods or money.

Staff at the unit called po­lice im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards and while noone was in­jured, peo­ple were left shaken by the in­ci­dent.

Of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing armed po­lice of­fi­cers, con­ducted a search of the lo­cal area and the rob­bers’ get­away ve­hi­cle, a stolen white Vaux­hall van, was picked up in Mor­risons in Uff­in­g­ton Road, Stam­ford, by Lin­colnshire Po­lice.

DCI Jon Huntchin­son, who is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent, said: “This is a rare type of of­fence which has been pre-planned well in ad­vance.

“No mem­bers of staff were in­jured but one per­son was pushed. An axe and a crow­bar were also swung at mem­bers of staff which had the po­ten­tial to kill some­one.

“We be­lieve the of­fend­ers were ex- pect­ing one or two mem­bers of staff but when they ac­tu­ally got in­side they were out-num­bered.

“We be­lieve this con­fused them and what could have been a well-or­ches­trated crime may have turned into a com­edy of er­rors which they left be­hind.”

DCI Hutchinson said he cur­rently has a team of 15 of­fi­cers work­ing on the case and trawl­ing through CCTV ev­i­dence.

They are also work­ing with neigh­bour­ing forces and ex­am­in­ing foren­sic ev­i­dence from the scene.

He added: “We have iden­ti­fied two ve­hi­cles in­volved in the rob­bery. One was a white Vaux­hall van, which was pre­vi­ously stolen in Es­sex on April 29.

“We be­lieve it has been dis­guised with sev­eral fake num­ber plates. That ve­hi­cle was later found in Mor­risons car park and the men were seen to run from the ve­hi­cle.

“The other ve­hi­cle is a white Mercedes 7.5-tonne lorry, which is like a re­moval van. It was aban­doned at the scene of the crime when staff at the lo­ca­tion hero­ically chal­lenged the of­fend­ers and scup­pered the of­fend­ers’ plans.

“They all bun­dled into the van and drove away at speed.

“Of­fences of this na­ture are nor­mally car­ried out by or­gan­ised crime groups and it is pos­si­ble that they may have come from out­side the area.

“One rob­bery is one too many and we will not rest un­til this peo­ple are put in prison.”

n A 20-year-old man from Spald­ing and a 21-year-old man from Stam­ford have been ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of rob­bery.

Both men are be­ing held at Thorpe Wood Po­lice Sta­tion.

Pic­ture: david lown­des.

iN­vES­ti­ga­tioN: DCI Jon Hutchinson who is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the bun­gled raid at GPSK Ltd in Wer­ring­ton. (METP-03-06-10DL615)

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