Two arrested over armed raids following rooftop stand-off

Police at the scene of a rooftop stand-off in Caunce Street
Police at the scene of a rooftop stand-off in Caunce Street
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Two men were arrested in connection with a spate of knifepoint robberies in Blackpool following a rooftop stand off.

The drama unfolded in Caunce Street at around 4.30pm yesterday when a man was spotted on the roof of a building.

A blue BMW believed to have been involved in the incident was abandoned in Cookson Street

A blue BMW believed to have been involved in the incident was abandoned in Cookson Street

He later gained access to a second property through a skylight before smashing his way out of a garage in a BMW.

The man was detained by police just yards away in Milbourne Street.

Caunce Street was sealed off for more than an hour as police dealt with the incident, negotiators being taken to the rooftop on the fire brigade's aerial ladder platform to try and talk the man down.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: "We were called to the area at around 4.30pm following reports of a man on a roof.

"The street was cordoned off and and we worked with Lancashire Fire and Rescue service to attempt negotiations with the man.

"He then gained access to another property through a skylight.

"Following that he smashed out of a property in a BMW car.

"He was arrested a short time later in Milbourne Street."

A Blue BMW Z3 was seen abandoned in Cookson Street, just yards from the scene of the stand-off, following a minor collision.

The 25-year-old suspect was taken into police custody. A 16-year-old who was subsequently arrested at one of the Caunce Street properties is also being questioned by police.

The road was closed for more than an hour as a result of the siege

Just hours before the stand-off police had appealed for help in tracking down the men responsible for a string of armed raids in Blackpool.

Six shops, including two bookmakers' stores were targeted over the weekend, five of the incidents involving staff members allegedly being threatened with a blade.

The first incident occurred shortly before 7.15pm on Friday at the Ladbrokes bookmakers on Whitegate Drive. A male offender entered the store brandishing a knife before climbing over the desk and stealing £180 from the till. He made off on foot up Reads Avenue.

The second incident occurred at a branch of Ladbrokes on Coronation Street, at around 8.10pm on Saturday. A male offender entered the store, climbed over the counter and threatened the member of staff with a knife before making off with approximately £100 from the till.

The third robbery occurred at the Corner Shop on Palatine Road at approximately 12.30pm on Sunday. Two men entered the store with one brandishing a large hammer which was used to threaten a lone female staff member. The offenders removed the entire till and left the store making off with cash takings, of an amount unknown at this time.

The fourth incident occurred at 8.35pm on Sunday at the One Stop Store on Caunce Street. A man entered the shop and threatened a member of staff with a knife before attempting to get money out of the till. He was unable to access the register and made off empty-handed.

A short time later, at around 8.59pm, an offender entered Grosvenor Stores on Church Street, where he produced a knife and threatened a member of staff. He demanded money and jumped onto the counter, before jumping back down and making off empty-handed.

The final incident occurred at around 9.38pm at Premier Stores on Dickson Road, when an offender entered the store with a knife in his hand. He walked behind the cash desk, pushed the member of staff over and pointed the knife at her. He took around £100 from the till and made off.

Both men remain in police custody.