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Co-op staff in gun terror

PUBLISHED: 13:51 17 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:20 03 March 2010

RAIDERS armed with a gun and a knife have struck at a Co-op store threatening a female employee before fleeing with a haul of cash.

As detectives began the hunt for the raiders in earnest, shock waves were reverberating throughout the Bramford Lane area of Ipswich where the raid took place.

RAIDERS armed with a gun and a knife have struck at a Co-op store threatening a female employee before fleeing with a haul of cash.

As detectives began the hunt for the raiders in earnest today, shock waves were reverberating throughout the Bramford Lane area of Ipswich where the raid took place.

Police also revealed today that there had been sightings of men acting suspiciously in Garrick Way, Ipswich and the Claydon area before the attack.

During the Bramford Road raid three men entered the Co-op and threatened one of the three female workers in the store before stealing an undisclosed amount of cash from one of the tills. The bandits then escaped in a white vehicle.

Today the shop was open for business as usual after last night's attack, but people living and working nearby were reeling from the news that this crime happened so close to their homes.

Many people who use the store are parents and children on their way to and from Springfield Infants, and Springfield Junior School and the majority of the staff are female.

Tracy Catling said: "It's pretty bad, especially as I only live down the road. And it's quite scary knowing that I use the shop daily with the little' uns.

"I won't go out at night on my own at the moment, not with everything that's happening round here, including the Bramford rape."

It was a feeling shared by Sonya Halls, of Springfield Lane, who said: "I don't think I'll be coming down here at night for a while.

"It's terrible to know this has happened here. I do use the shop a lot and so do my children. It's worrying to think that something like this has happened so close to home."

Jane Parnell, of Surbiton Road, said the news raised concern because of the number of children who use the Co-op and added: "I'm very shocked and it's a bit worrying, especially with all the children who pack in there after school."

Bill Knowles, deputy general manager of the society, today said: "One of the members of staff took the brunt of the incident in the sense of having the gun pointed at her but they were all effected by it and all quite shocked by it.

"They helped each other in doing what was necessary and they did exactly what they should have and kept their nerve at the time. We are really proud of them.

"They were terrifying circumstances for people in a local shop to be suddenly confronted with.

"We are supporting our staff behind the scenes and so people can see it, as there will be a guard in the store for some time."

"We have procedures to safe guard the money so all they got away with was the money in the till at the time and there was not a great deal of it," he added.

Investigating officer Det Con David Ross said: "Although staff were not physically injured, they were extremely shocked and terrified by what occurred.

"I would appeal to anyone who was in the Bramford Lane area at around 8pm yesterday to contact me as a matter of urgency as they may have information that would be valuable to this inquiry.

"We are also aware of other suspicious sightings of men wearing balaclavas in the area of Garrick Way, Ipswich, and Ipswich Road, Claydon, earlier in the day."

Anyone with any information about the robbery or the suspicious men is asked to contact investigating officer DC Ross at Ipswich CID on 01473 383500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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