Guard hit with sledgehammer in daylight robbery

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THIEVES armed with a sledgehammer and a shotgun robbed cash delivery drivers at a supermarket.

One of the guards was struck across the head with the sledgehammer during the robbery, but luckily he was not injured.

It happened at the Asda store on Windermere Road, Leigh, at about 7am today (Friday).

Two drivers from a security firm were making a delivery to the supermarket when a grey Nissan Qashqai pulled up and two offenders wearing balaclavas got out. One of the thieves had the sledgehammer and struck one of the drivers across the head but thankfully his helmet protected him from being injured.

The thieves stole a cash box containing a substantial amount of cash but the dye safety feature of the box was activated as a result, so the offenders may have been sprayed with purple dye either on their clothing or on their skin.

After driving off in the Nissan, which itself was stolen in the Newton-le-Willows area, it is believed the offenders dumped the car on Orchard close in Leigh and got into a white Mercedes and drove off.

Police are now appealing to anyone with information about the robbery to come forward.

Detective Sergeant Paul Rollinson said: “This was an audacious robbery in broad daylight by two offenders armed with extremely intimidating weapons. The fact that one of the drivers was wearing his helmet is the only reason he did not suffer a serious head injury when struck with the sledgehammer.

“That the offenders were prepared to carry through their threat of violence means they need to be apprehended.

“I would appeal to anyone who has information about this robbery to come forward. In particular, I would like to hear from anyone who has information about the movements of either the grey Nissan Qashqai or the white Mercedes in the run-up and immediate aftermath of the robbery.

“I would also urge people to be on the lookout for anyone who has purple dye on either their clothing or their skin. If you are the partner or friend of these criminals and you suspect their are involved or have such dye on their clothing or skin, I would urge you in the strongest possible terms to do the right thing and call us.”

Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 7371 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.