Security van armed robbery - police issue image of get-away driver

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POLICE have released an Evofit of a man they wish to speak with in connection with an armed robbery at the Co-Op store in Whitworth on July 7th.

The robbery took place around 1 p.m. when two security guards were attacked by three masked men wielding sledgehammers while they were replenishing the ATM machine.

One guard was hit over the head and his cash cassette stolen before his colleague was forced to hand over an additional cash cassette from inside the security van.

Fortunately both security guards were wearing helmets and did not suffer any serious injuries although both were treated for shock.

The offenders left the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash in a black Renault Megane, registration SA09 TXB which was stolen from Salford a few weeks prior to the offence and found abandoned nearby.

Witnesses then describe the men as leaving in a black BMW three series which turned left towards Bacup.

Police have today released an Evofit of a man they believe was driving the get-away vehicles and are urging anybody that thinks recognise him to contact police.

He is described as white, aged 20 to 25, lean build, with a narrow face and clean shaven. He had a full head of ginger or brown-coloured hair and was wearing dark clothes.

Two of the offenders were wearing black and grey tracksuits, balaclavas and gloves. One had a distinctive electric blue jacket and beige trousers.

DS Mark Gillibrand from Rossendale CID said: “I would ask people to take a close look at the Evofit and if they have any suspicions about who this could be I’d ask them to contact us. Given the vehicle was stolen from Salford we strongly believe these men could be from the Manchester area.

“This was nasty offence in which unnecessary violence was used and it is possible these men could strike again. Our investigation is continuing and I’d appeal to anybody with any information that could assist us to come forward.”

There were also a number of staff and customers in the shop at the time of the robbery but nobody was injured.

Anyone with any information should contact Lancashire Police on 08451 25 35 45 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.