Armed robbers raid post office

ARMED robbers brandishing a sawn-off shotgun burst in to a post office today and threatened staff before stealing money from the safe.The robbers also had a pick-axe handle and crowbar.

POLICE were today searching for three armed robbers who burst into a rural post office in a picturesque village and demanded cash from shaken staff.

The incident took place at the East Bergholt Post Office and Store in The Street at around 6.20am, sending a shockwave through the normally peaceful and quiet village.

The balaclava-clad trio threatened staff with a sawn-off shotgun, crow bar and pick-axe handle before herding them into the back of the shop and ordering owner Alec Gardner to hand over money.

Pc Lee Andrews-Pearce, who was one of the first officers on the scene, said: “We believe that there were three offenders and one of them was brandishing a sawn-off shot gun.

“The other two had weapons as well. One had a pick-axe handle and the other had a crowbar.

“Two staff were at the front of the shop at the time and were taken in to the back and money was demanded from the store owner.

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“They are all a bit shaken up so it's difficult to get a full picture of what happened as yet.

“We don't know how much money they got away with.”

It is believed the robbers made their get away in a dark-coloured, possibly black, car.

None of the staff were hurt, but all were left extremely shaken and were believed to have gone to the store Mr Gardner's house next door to the post office while police carried out their investigations.

Detectives turned up shortly after 9am to speak to the staff and owner, while officers patrolled outside the shop front.

One resident of The Street, who did not wish to be named, said: “I hate to see things like this happening where I live. I've been in this village all my life. It's a lovely village and nothing like this has happened before.”

Another elderly East Bergholt resident said: “It's a thriving village shop and post office so I suppose we are a prime target now.”

Three police cars and a scene of crime van were present outside the store this morning. A road next to it was sealed off while investigations were carried out.

A police spokeswoman confirmed that house-to-house enquiries would be taking place throughout the day.

The incident is the latest in a string of armed robberies at post offices and convenience stores across the region.

Anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident should telephone Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

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