12/02/15 Armed police swoop in hunt for Lincolnshire post office raider


Armed police swoop in hunt for Lincolnshire post office raider

Two men have been arrested after 24 hours of drama which began when a man entered a post office with what appeared to be a gun.

A 22-year-old and a 26-year- old were detained by officers in Gainsborough hours after police swooped on a small bungalow in Sturgate, five miles east of the town.

The drama began at 10am on Tuesday, when a man walked into Fiskerton Post Office on Ferry Road and held up the cashier.

He left with an unknown quantity of cash before fleeing on a quad bike.

Police said the incident could be linked to the armed robbery of a post office in Blyton last month, which also saw a man flee on a quad bike.

Within 24 hours of the latest raid, police in black uniforms carrying large guns and wearing goggles and helmets patrolled the streets of Sturgate as officers surrounded the home.

The early morning drama saw a string of police cars block country lanes as officers carried out inquiries.

A police helicopter hovered overhead and a cordon was set up in Hill Road while investigations were carried out, but no arrests were made.

Brothers John and Peter Thompson live yards from the bungalow raided by police.

“I’ve lived here since 1954 and we’ve never had anything like this before,” said 74-year-old retired farm worker John.

“This morning there’s been police cars and even a police helicopter.”

“I don’t know the people who live there, so I don’t really know what it’s all about.”

Brother Peter, 69, said police closed the road off for about an hour.

He said: “We saw them blocking the road off and I asked what was happening, but they didn’t say anything.”

Detective Inspector Suzanne Davies said police were still piecing together the exact circumstances surrounding the Fiskerton robbery.

“We have had a number of officers involved in the operation that has led to these arrests and it has caused some real disruption for the community,” she said.

Fiskerton residents told the Echo they were shocked that the village hall was the scene of a robbery.

Husband Mo Houlden, 80, said: “I have lived here all my life and we have never had any trouble like this.”

Patricia Spriggs, also of Ferry Road, said: “This is a very quiet village and to hear something like this has happened is so surprising.”

Post Office spokesman Suzette Rabout said: “The people who run our Post Office branches provide important services to local communities.

“Any robbery or attempted robbery is very traumatic for the victims and we will be supporting the police in their efforts to apprehend those responsible.”

Anyone with information about either incident should call police on 101.

A nearby field was also searched.

The two men arrested in Gainsborough in connection with the Fiskerton hold-up were last night awaiting questioned by police.

On January 6, a knife-wielding robber held up a post office service in Blyton.

Lincolnshire Police spokesman Dick Holmes said: “We are exploring the possibility that the robberies are linked.

“One offender had a knife, and one what is thought to be a firearm, but in both incidents the offender has got away on a quad bike.”

Two men arrested on suspicion of the robbery in Blyton, a 21-year-old and a 19-year-old from Gainsborough, were bailed

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