Police hunting for masked men who tried to hold up a bank and threatened terrified staff - before running over a pedestrian in their getaway car - have made two arrests.
Officers were called to a branch of the Yorkshire Bank in Rotherham, South Yorks., at around 8.50am on Friday morning after the alarm was activated. The men are understood to have entered the bank and threatened staff with weapons.
Police said the guns were not fired but one member of staff was reportedly assaulted by the suspects. Other staff at the bank on Broad Street were left shaken and distressed.
On Saturday, police said a man and a woman were in police custody being questioned in relation to the armed robbery.
The 52-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of robbery and the 39-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Yesterday police said the culprits made their escape in a stolen car, and after assaulting a member of staff in the bank, they struck a pedestrian crossing nearby Rawmarsh Hill.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said yesterday: “Significant police resources continue to search Parkgate and the surrounding areas of Rotherham today following an attempted armed robbery.
“At around 8.50am this morning, officers were called to Yorkshire Bank in Broad Street after an alarm was activated.
“Three men with their faces covered are understood to have entered the bank and threatened staff with what are believed to be shotguns.
“The guns were not fired and one member of staff was reportedly assaulted by the suspects. The other staff have been left shaken and distressed.“The men fled the scene and nearby, on Rawmarsh Hill, it is reported that a pedestrian was involved in a collision with a suspected stolen vehicle.
“The pedestrian, a woman in her 40s, has been taken to hospital and her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
“Officers are treating this as a linked incident and there are road closures across this area as enquiries continue.
“There is not believed to be a wider risk to the community at this time.”
Business owners were asked to stay inside their shops by officers who cordoned off around 60 metres of Broad Street in the immediate aftermath of the raid.
One business owner said: “It was all a bit hectic to begin with, no one knew what was going on.
“The person who runs the shop next to me was escorted by police back to his shop because he was getting money out of the cash machine, that was about 9.10am.”
“Police were turning customers away and escorted them past the cordon.”
Another shop keeper, who did not wish to be named, said: “Police told me I couldn’t open my shop at first when I got down here but they let me in eventually.
“I was stunned to see all the police, it was crazy.”
An eye-witness added: “I was walking to my sister’s and saw loads of police cars fly up to the bank.
“A blue car flew round the corner, it looked like police were chasing it.”