Guards recovering after factory raid

TWO factory security guards who confronted a masked gang were recovering at home today after being tied up in a terrifying robbery.The men, from Ipswich and Stowmarket, tackled a gang of up to eight raiders who were armed with sticks and pieces of wood at the Climax Molybdenum factory, in Needham Road, Stowmarket.

TWO factory security guards who confronted a masked gang were recovering at home today after being tied up in a terrifying robbery.

The men, from Ipswich and Stowmarket, tackled a gang of up to eight raiders who were armed with sticks and pieces of wood at the Climax Molybdenum factory, in Needham Road, Stowmarket.

The guards, who were in an office on the site, fought with the gang but were overpowered and tied up with a belt and electrical wiring.

The robbers then took keys from one of them and used them to access another area of the site and stole around 20 tonnes of metal alloy Ferromolybdenum - a rare, valuable and very heavy material used to harden steel.

There are thought to be only a handful of sites in England which produce this material and police are investigating whether it was stolen to order.

An employee, who works on the site, said today: "I heard about it the next day. I heard they got beaten up but I don't know how bad they are. I am worried about it. They are part of the company and we know them. Of course we are upset about it.

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"They are both off work at the moment but I think they are back soon - they were both shaken up."

The violent raid has sent shockwaves through the community.

Lesley Mayes, Mayor of Stowmarket said: "I'm absolutely appalled. It must have been a very traumatic experience for those involved.

"I hate to hear of anything happening like this with people being injured at work. It's just too prevalent."

Heather Salmon, Stowmarket town councillor said: "I'm totally shocked. We seem to be getting things like this happening closer to home. You think this sort of thing happens in other places, not on your doorstep."

The raid happened at around 10pm on Saturday and it is believed that the offenders used lifting gear that was on site to load the alloy onto a lorry or heavy goods vehicle before leaving the scene.

Once the offenders had left the men managed to free themselves and raise the alarm. Fortunately the men were not seriously injured but were taken to Ipswich Hospital for checks.

At this stage there is only a description of one of the offenders who is described as wearing a stocking on his head. He was also wearing a dark jumper with a hood, dark trainers and was wearing a silver watch on his left arm.

Detective Constable Hannah Martin said: “This must have been a terrifying ordeal for the men involved. Both have been left shaken but are working with us to assist us with our enquiries.

“We would like to hear from anyone who has information relating to this investigation. The offenders would have been on site for some time and we are confident that someone will have seen something.

“Needham Road is also a busy area so it is possible that a passing motorist may have witnessed the vehicle used in the offence being driven away. Please contact us as a matter of priority with any information you may be able to provide.”

Anyone with information should call Stowmarket CID on 01284 774 100 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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