ARMED police swoop after third bank raid

VIDEO Armed police were involved in a stand-off with a man in east Ipswich today after a bank raid.The siege occurred in Nansen Road after a security guard was robbed outside Lloyds TSB in Nacton Road.

ARMED police swooped in Ipswich today after a robbery took place outside a bank which has now been targeted three times in two years.

A robber who struck at the Lloyds TSB branch in Nacton Road shortly after 10am today, before fleeing the scene.

Later in the morning officers were seen taking away a blue Ford Fiesta from a property in nearby Felix Road.

A short distance away firearms officers appeared to be involved in a stand-off with a man inside a house in Nansen Road, after the road had been sealed off at the junction with Felix Road.

The robber who struck outside the Lloyds TSB branch is believed to be a male.

Witnesses said he approached a Group 4 Securicor guard who was visiting the branch and snatched his cash box before making off. It is not yet known whether the robber was armed.

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One witness said: “I looked out of my window one minute and saw nothing, the next I saw the security van outside the bank and the area cordoned off.”

The latest robbery is the third to happen on the same weekday, around the same time.

The first of the robberies happened on November 18, 2005 at the same bank in Nacton Road. Exactly 12 weeks later an almost identical attack took place outside the same bank where a security guard was hit in the face when two men tried to rob him.

A man, who did not wish to be named, said this robbery was different to previous ones.

He said: “It was very quiet, totally different to the last two. There were no sirens going off or anything; normally they make all sorts of noise when there is an incident.”

Following the robbery police and community support officers began the task of gathering information.

A scientific services van appeared at the scene with an officer surveying the area as nearby residents and shopkeepers were quizzed. A police helicopter was dispatched to the sky and hovered over the area.

A Suffolk Police spokesman said: “One man approached a security guard who was entering Lloyds TSB Bank and snatched the money bag.”

A spokeswoman for Lloyds TSB said: “At this stage we are aware that an incident took place outside the branch at 10am. Police are now handling the incident.”

The suspect is black, dressed in dark clothing and was wearing a beanie hat.

He made off in the direction of Nacton Road.

On Thursday, November 2, 2006, the men responsible for the first two raids outside the bank, Leroy Hardy and Steven Blacklaw, were found guilty of carrying out raids on security vans in Nacton Road, Ipswich.

Hardy of Tulse Hill Brixton and Blacklaw 25 of London Road Hemel Hempstead were convicted by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court Hardy was sentenced to 16 years in prison and Blacklaw to nine years.

The pair laughed as the sentences were read out.

The court heard Hardy was convicted of robbery in 2001 and was serving an eight year sentence when he was released on licence in 2005, only to go on to steal £150,000 in the two Securicor raids

If you saw today's incident or have any information about it, call Suffolk Police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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