‘Dye’ marked armed raider

Police vehicles outside the Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Bispham after the armed raid

Police vehicles outside the Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Bispham after the armed raid

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POLICE have revealed how a “dye pack” concealed in stash of money stolen during a gunpoint bank raid exploded, covering the thief in red powder.

The terrifying robbery took place at the Royal Bank of Scotland branch on Red Bank Road, Bispham, at around 2pm on Monday when a man entered the bank and threatened a female member of staff with a black handgun while demanding cash.

The man, believed to be in his 20s, escaped on foot with an undisclosed amount of money and headed down the Promenade, before turning into Hesketh Avenue, at the side of the Highlands Hotel.

He was carrying a small black pump bag at the time with a picture of a white shark on it, which has not been recovered.

As the offender ran between Redbank Road and Hesketh Avenue a security capsule he was unknowingly carrying exploded, producing red dye.

Officers say the raider may then have panicked and discarded his bag in a nearby garden or bin and are urging residents to check their properties.

Det Insp Kevin Simmons, from Blackpool CID, told The Gazette: “Through various CCTV inquires we believe the man responsible for this offence spent up to an hour watching the bank from the opposite side of the road.

“This is a serious offence which left staff and customers badly shaken and we need the public’s help to catch the person responsible.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 08451 25 35 45 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.