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Raiders strike at Ipswich post office

PUBLISHED: 19:00 17 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:57 03 March 2010

QUICK-WITTED bystanders tried to foil three masked knife-wielding robbers who held up an Ipswich post office today .

It is the second armed robbery in the region in as many days and the second on a post office in just over a fortnight.

QUICK-WITTED bystanders tried to foil three masked knife-wielding robbers who held up an Ipswich post office today .

It is the second armed robbery in the region in as many days and the second on a post office in just over a fortnight.

Despite neighbours' efforts to foil this morning's raid on St John's post office – one woman called the police while a pensioner tried to block the stolen getaway car – the gang made off with a quantity of cash.

It was the manager of Spring Road Cleaners, Jacqui Rogers, who first raised the alarm at 8.50am when she heard raiders breaking into the back of the post office.

She said: "I was at the back when I heard a terrible noise. I saw two masked men dressed in black.

"I was very scared. They were using a weapon that looked like a truncheon but could have been a gun to get in. I ran back in and called police."

A mystery witness, who was happy to be snapped by our photographer but asked not to be named, tried to block the raiders' escape route into Gordon Road and encouraged drivers to do the same.

He was happy to be snapped by our photographer, but asked not to be named.

He said: "I saw three of them jump over the fence at the back and then get into the car. They were wearing balaclavas, though the driver had taken his off.

"They tried to start the car but it didn't start. So I stood in front of it and tried to get a nearby driver to block their path. It was a busy road and we could have surrounded them. We could have stopped them from getting away."

A post office worker was said to be shaken by the attack after being threatened by knife.

And "gobsmacked," was the word from the owner of the stolen Astra used in the raid.

But Liz Felgate wasn't surprised by one witness's report her J-reg car had stalled when raiders tried to pull away from the scene.

She said: "It was due for another check up. I remember thinking I should mention to the mechanic that it was stalling."

Mrs Felgate's blue Astra was taken from close to her Bramford Road home on Wednesday morning between 7.30am and 9.30am.

Just 48 hours later it was used as the getaway car for the Spring Road raiders.

The gang dumped Nadia's stolen blue Astra in Gordon Road and make off in a white saloon car.

Mrs Felgate, 48, is now hoping to get her car back as soon as possible.

She said: "I was gobsmacked when I heard the news. When it was stolen police told me thieves would probably drive it around until the petrol ran out. But it's quite a nippy car and I joked with my daughter that it might be used as a getaway car."

A police spokeswoman said: "The owner will be able to have her car back as soon as we have carried out forensic tests on it."

The three raiders are described as white and in their late teens. One wore a cream jacket while the other two were in black. All three wore scarves over their faces.

Police are appealing for witnesses in the busy junction of Cauldwell Road and Spring Road who may have seen the getaway. Anyone who may have seen Mrs Felgate's blue Astra, registration number J311 LCK, in the last few days should contact DS Duncan Shepherd on 01473 383133.

It is the second Post Office in the region to fall prey to armed robbers in just over a fortnight.

And yesterday's armed robbery on the Walton branch of Alldays has fuelled speculation this could be the start of a summer crime spree.

A 30-year-old man is due to attend Felixstowe police station on May 27 in connection with an attempted armed raid on Beach Station Road post office on May 2.

Three men have been arrested in connection to the Alldays robbery.

And police have recovered a shotgun which is thought to have been used in yesterday's raid at the Walton store.


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