Manhunt after gunpoint bank raid

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POLICE have today launched a manhunt for a masked raider who held up a bank at gunpoint during a terrifying raid.

Customers spoke of their shock after the armed robber stormed the Royal Bank of Scotland on Red Bank Road, Bispham, and threatened a woman behind the counter with a black handgun while demanding cash.

The man, believed to be in his twenties, then fled the bank and ran off south down the Promenade with an undisclosed amount of money.

Eye witnesses told The Gazette how armed police and crime scene investigators were quick to arrive at the scene and began gathering evidence following the robbery at around 2pm yesterday.

Lisa Day, a mum-of-two who was in the bank with her children when the man entered, said she fled the building as soon as she realised.

She added: “He started shouting ‘give me the money’ and was waving a bag around, as soon as he reached into the bag I grabbed my kids and ran out into the cafe next door.”

Det Insp Kevin Simmons, of Blackpool CID, said: “An investigation is underway and I would appeal to anyone with any information about this robbery to come forward and contact police.

“I would be particularly interested to speaking to anyone that witnessed the robbery itself or noticed anybody acting strangely around Red Bank Road either today, or in the days leading up to the incident.

“There were customers in the bank at the time of the robbery but fortunately nobody was hurt.”

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

FOR THE FULL STORY SEE TUESDAY’S GAZETTE.