Hunt for knife­man on the loose in vil­lage

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - FRONT PAGE - BY BEN HENDRY

A huge po­lice search was last night launched for a knife-wield­ing at­tacker af­ter an al­leged at­tempted rob­bery in an Aberdeen­shire vil­lage.

Fran­tic scenes played out in In­sch as of­fi­cers scoured woods where the wanted man was be­lieved to be hid­ing.

Po­lice were last night hunt­ing a knife­man af­ter he threat­ened a restau­rant owner with a blade in an Aberdeen­shire vil­lage.

Scores of of­fi­cers were called to In­sch fol­low­ing re­ports that the man, be­lieved to be from Es­sex, wielded the weapon at Mo Rah­man while de­mand­ing he hand over valu­ables.

The in­ci­dent took place at about 7pm out­side the Com­mer­cial Ho­tel, which is at­tached to Cafe Mint, the In­dian take­away Mr Rah­man runs.

Af­ter the vic­tim put up a fight, the would-be rob­ber fled from Com­merce Street into nearby wood­land and a po­lice search was launched for him.

The man is un­der­stood to have es­caped the woods with­out be­ing de­tected and re­mained on the loose into the early hours of the morn­ing. A “shaken” Mr Rah­man said last night: “I could see the man com­ing down the road ahead of me, and then go into a lane be­side the Com­mer­cial Ho­tel.

“The next thing I knew, he was com­ing up to me and say- ing ‘give me your watch and jewellery’.

“At that point, he pulled out a big knife but I grabbed him by the hand and asked what he was do­ing.”

Mr Rah­man recog­nised his as­sailant from spend­ing time in the ho­tel bar ear­lier in the week, where the man had struck up con­ver­sa­tion with lo­cals.

The man is un­der­stood to have dis­closed to oth­ers that he is from the Es­sex area, and had a recog­nis­able ac­cent.

Mr Rah­man added: “I told the man that I recog­nised him from the pub, and he just grabbed car doc­u­ments that I was hold­ing and ran away.

“I chased af­ter him, and he dropped the car doc­u­ments but con­tin­ued bran­dish­ing the knife as he headed off into the woods.

“I was shaken up, but the main thing is that no­body was hurt.”

Sev­eral po­lice cars swooped on the nor­mally quiet vil­lage and of­fi­cers mounted a torch­lit search through the trees for the wanted man.

Af­ter fail­ing to lo­cate him in the wood­land, they be­gan checking prop­er­ties they sus­pected he could be us­ing as a hide­out.

A po­lice spokesman said: “There was a re­port of a dis­tur­bance and some­one has made off from the po­lice.

“We are mak­ing ef­forts to trace him at this time.”

“I was shaken up but the main thing is that no­body was hurt”

IN­VES­TI­GA­TION: Po­lice at the scene af­ter the in­ci­dent last night

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