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Drivers sought after Little Chef holdup

PUBLISHED: 16:57 27 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:33 03 March 2010

POLICE want to trace the drivers of two cars seen pulling away from a restaurant minutes after staff were held up by armed raiders - using the café's own cutlery.

POLICE want to trace the drivers two cars seen pulling away from a restaurant minutes after staff were held up by armed raiders – using the café's own cutlery.

Four robbers swooped as staff were closing the Little Chef at the junction of the A140 and A14 at Coddenham.

They got away with a cash box containing just £120 – but covered their tracks by stealing the CCTV tape.

Five staff members were locked in the staff room after one of the raiders – wielding a Little Chef knife – grabbed keys to the safe.

Minutes later a white Volvo and white Peugeot 305 pulled out of the Little Chef car park.

A police spokesman said police were not linking the vehicles to the robbery but the occupants could have vital information.

From the restaurant, there is easy access to Ipswich, or the west, along the A14 – or towards Norwich along the A140.

The men stormed the back door of the Beacon Hill Little Chef as it was closing at 10.30pm last night.

They held tee shirts over their faces as they made their way through the restaurant – which had no customers at the time.

A restaurant spokesman said: "No one was hurt but the members of staff were terrified when they were threatened, it's a daunting experience for anyone."

The company spokesman went on: "The whole raid only lasted a few minutes. As soon as they had gone the women pressed an alarm button and the police arrived soon afterwards."

None of the women involved in the raid were prepared to speak about their ordeal but were due to return to their shifts later today.

They were able to give descriptions of two of the raiders. The first is described as white thick set in his late twenties wearing pale grey casual trousers and a black hooded sweat top.

The other was younger and of skinny build wearing shorts, a baseball cap and trainers.

The Little Chef spokesman said: "The safety of out customers and staff is paramount. We don't consider ourselves any more targeted than other roadside restaurants. Security is constantly undergoing a review."

Anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area is urged to call Ipswich police on 01473 613500.

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