UPDATE: Masked raiders steal thousands of pounds from Clitheroe bank

Police on the scene at the Santander Bank on Castle Street. Photo: Steven Suttie

Police on the scene at the Santander Bank on Castle Street. Photo: Steven Suttie

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A major manhunt is under way after armed robbers targeted a vehicle delivering cash to a Clitheroe bank.

The incident occurred at around 7.40pm when a cash in transit van was robbed by two men wearing balaclavas whilst a delivery was being made at Santander bank on Castle Street.

The offenders used a sledgehammer to force open one of the cassettes to access the money.

The two offenders fled from the scene in a white Audi A1 driven by a third person, which was later found abandoned on fire on Turner Street. It is thought that the men fled from the area in a dark Volkswagen Golf which was last seen heading along the Edenfield Bypass in the direction of the M66.

Officers are trying to trace the car and so we are asking anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious in the lead up to the robbery, or who might have any information about the vehicle, the offenders or the incident, to come forward.

DI Andy Ellis said: “This investigation is very much in its early stages and we are still trying to determine exactly what has happened.

“From what we know, no one was physically injured and thankfully, no violence was used by the offenders.

“I would like to reassure the local community that we have a number of officers trying to find these men and we will be stepping up patrols in the area.

“If you know who these men are or you think you may know something that could assist us with our investigation, I would urge you to call us on 101 quoting incident reference 1291 of November 24th.”

Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.