Police issue descriptions of Leigh Park building society robbers

Park Parade, in Leigh Park, where two robbers stole cash from Nationwide. Picture: Joe Nimmo
Park Parade, in Leigh Park, where two robbers stole cash from Nationwide. Picture: Joe Nimmo

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POLICE have issued descriptions of two robbers who assaulted security guards and made off with cash from a building society.

Officers say they belive at least three people were involved in the ambush on two couriers outside the Nationwide on Friday night.

One man is described as at least being 6ft tall, wearing a dark balaclava and clothing and having a southern accent.

Another man is described as shorter and stockier than the first suspect, also wearing a black balaclava and dark clothing. He also has a Southern accent.

No description of the third suspect has been released.

Police believe the robbery may be linked to a theft of number plates from Highlawn Way and ask residents and passers by to report any suspicious activity in Highlawn Way and the surrounding area on the night of the robbery.

Officers are also urging people to report any suspicious activity involving small dark coloured cars, such as unusual manoeuvres or abandoned cars .

Two men attacked two G4S couriers who were emptying the cash machine at the Nationwide building society in Park Parade, Leigh Park, on Friday night.

Wearing black balaclavas, the two men used an angle grinder and a small hand axe to smash windows and break into the bank at around 10.28pm.

They took four cash machine containers which police say contained a substantial amount of money.

Mike Joins owns Zoom Hairdressing opposite the building society and told The News he was surprised by the well-planned nature of the robbery.

‘When I arrived in the morning I thought someone had just smashed the windows with a hammer or something,’ he said.

‘I had no idea they waited for the couriers; that makes you think it was all planned well in advance.

‘The same kind of thing happened to the exact same bank 10 years ago, so they could have been copying that robbery.

‘Those guys were from London and got caught, so lets hope the same thing happens this time.’

The robbers escaped in a black Volkswagen Golf waiting in a nearby car park and drove off along Somborne Drive.

They then turned right into Stockheath Road and then left into Petersfield Road.

Police are still looking for the car which is believed to be carrying number plates stolen from another car nearby.

The area is currently cordoned off while forensic officers from Hampshire Constabulary conduct an investigation with the help of bank staff.

Joanne Moore, 38, of Cross Way, in Havant, said she had come down to withdraw some money from the building society and found it taped off.

She said: ‘There have been other thefts around here, but none recently on banks.

‘I suppose it is the time of year when people just become desperate. And it shows how careful you have to be with your money; nobody is safe.’

The two couriers both sustained minor injuries in the attack.

The bank is closed this morning and it is thought it will remain shut until Monday.

A spokesman for Nationwide said: ‘We can confirm that this incident is now in the hands of the police and obviously we are cooperating with their enquiries.’

Police said they cannot confirm whether the robbery is linked to another which happened at the HSBC bank in Chandlers Ford on Thursday.

Anyone with information should call police on 101.

Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.