Colne supermarket robber who fled to Spain in court - new appeal to trace co-accused

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CRIMEFIGHTING charity Crimestoppers has launched a new campaign to locate 10 wanted fugitives believed to be hiding in Spain - including a man from Lancashire convicted of conspiracy to commit armed robbery at Asda, Colne, and escaping from custody.

Andrew Moran is wanted for his alleged involvement in an armed cash in transit robbery that took place at the supermarket in May 2005, where Royal Mail guards were threatened with a handgun, machete and baseball bat. One of the guards was assaulted before the offenders escaped with £25,000.

A trial took place in February, 2009, where Moran assaulted four security guards and escaped from the court.

The appeal is the seventh launched as part of the charity’s Operation Captura campaign, and has so far seen 46 of 60 individuals located since its first launch in 2006.

Lord Ashcroft, founder and chairman of Crimestoppers, said: “Operation Captura is a unique partnership that has seen huge success in bringing some of the UK’s most wanted fugitives to justice.

“A small number of suspected criminals mistakenly see Spain as a safe place to evade law enforcement but, thanks to the confidence the UK, Spanish and ex-pat communities have in Crimestoppers, these individuals will not be able to escape justice for much longer.”

Moran’s co-accused, Stephen Devalda, of Salford, who was arrested in Spain in March and extradited back to this country, is due to be sentenced for his part in the robbery at Preston Crown Court today.