Search

5.20pm update: Robbers burnt out getaway car near Aylsham school

17:26 06 December 2012

Police at the scene of an armed robbery at Aylsham.

Police at the scene of an armed robbery at Aylsham.

Archant

Robbers are understood to have set light to their getaway car within yards of a school - minutes before parents were due to pick up their children.

The frightening scene played out this afternoon after three or four men - one wielding a sledgehammer - burst into Barclays Bank at Market Place, Aylsham, at 2.20pm.

They fled empty-handed in a silver Vauxhall Astra, which is now burnt out in the driveway of some empty flats on Hungate Street, opposite John of Gaunt Infant and Nursery School.

Staff and children were inside the school at the time, rehearsing for their nativity. They did not notice the incident, but saw the police cars and burnt out car when they left a little while later.

Police said three or four men forced their way into the bank and assaulted a member of staff.

They demanded money, but are believed to have been unsuccessful and fled the scene in unidentified cars.

Minutes later the car fire was reported at nearby Hungate Street.

Police have now left the scene, and a sign on the door of the bank reads: “Sorry, but due to circumstances beyond our control we are unable to open this branch at the moment.”

Inez Welton, who works at Barnwells in Market Place, said a couple came into the shop an urged her to dial 999 because a robbery was taking place.

She ran outside to look and said: “I could see a security guard in there with his hands up. There were three to four men in black wearing balaclavas.

“I came back to the shop and said to Gwen ‘you’ve got to ring 999. There’s a raid going on’.”

Mrs Welton said the robbers were “running about” inside the bank.

It is understood that they got into the bank through the back, near the car park, and witnesses reported hearing “lots of banging and knocking inside”.

Police are knocking on doors along Hungate Street to gather eye-witness information.

Another witness, who did not want to be named, said: “We came around the corner in the Market Place and when we looked in the window of Barclays Bank we could see a group of young lads leaping about.

“We thought they were larking around at first, but then we realised one of them had an axe in his hand and another had a stick.

“We rushed to the newsagents and told them to call the police as we realised there were security guards in there who were getting knocked about. It’s terrible. I’m still shaking like a leaf.”

The incident is being investigated by officers from Great Yarmouth CID. Witnesses, call them on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

● Did you see anything? Call Steve Downes on 01263 513920 or email steve.downes@archant.co.uk

Other news

Yesterday, 17:20
Fire Oulton Hall in the early hours of Tuesday morning with 7 fire engines in attendance overnight.

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Investigations are continuing after a blaze destroyed a north Norfolk country house.

Yesterday, 16:09
Hopkins Homes and North Norfolk District Council celebrate the start of a new £2.3 million to redevelop the former HL Foods canning factory site of Norwich Roads with a 176 homes are due to be built by the end of the year. Pictured is Simon Bryan development director for Hopkins Homes

Photo by Mark Bullimore

Townsfolk will be able to have a say through social media on the names for new streets within a new housing development.

Yesterday, 15:53

30 people were evacuated from a home for adults with learning disabilities after a small bedroom fire this afternoon.

Yesterday, 15:24
Burlington Hotel refurbishment plans. Architect Bernard Smith, left, and owner Steve McDermot with a model of the new look hotel.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A hotelier is happy after plans to build luxury apartments next to a Victorian hotel in order to fund its future were approved.

Most Read

Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Fire Fighters tackling the huge fire that destroyed the premises of Aylsham Bathroom and Kitchen Centre late on Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Simon Finlay

The owner of a north Norfolk bathroom and kitchen store has been charged with two counts of arson and two counts of fraud by false representation.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:23
Oulton Hall fire. Picture: Brian Walshe

A rural hall which has stood for centuries has been gutted after fire ripped through the private home.

Read more
Norfolk Community Foundation
Yesterday, 15:24
Burlington Hotel refurbishment plans. Architect Bernard Smith, left, and owner Steve McDermot with a model of the new look hotel.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A hotelier is happy after plans to build luxury apartments next to a Victorian hotel in order to fund its future were approved.

Read more
North Norfolk District Council
Yesterday, 15:53

30 people were evacuated from a home for adults with learning disabilities after a small bedroom fire this afternoon.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:09
Hopkins Homes and North Norfolk District Council celebrate the start of a new £2.3 million to redevelop the former HL Foods canning factory site of Norwich Roads with a 176 homes are due to be built by the end of the year. Pictured is Simon Bryan development director for Hopkins Homes

Photo by Mark Bullimore

Townsfolk will be able to have a say through social media on the names for new streets within a new housing development.

Read more
Facebook

Most Commented

Yesterday, 15:24
Burlington Hotel refurbishment plans. Architect Bernard Smith, left, and owner Steve McDermot with a model of the new look hotel.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A hotelier is happy after plans to build luxury apartments next to a Victorian hotel in order to fund its future were approved.

Read more
North Norfolk District Council

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 4°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Norfolk News e-edition today E-edition