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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Suspect arrested after armed robberies in Cumbria

A suspected gunman is in custody following a high-speed car chase and armed robberies in Wigton and Kirkbride.

A huge police operation was launched after a woman was ordered to hand over her car at gun point in George Street, Wigton, at 1pm yesterday (Friday).

The robber drove off in the dark blue Vauxhall Corsa along High Street. His victim was said to be “unharmed but shaken”.

An hour later, a woman at Kirkbride Post Office was threatened by a man brandishing a firearm. She was forced to hand over cash – police have not revealed how much – but was unhurt. The gunman drove off in the Corsa towards Wigton.

A helicopter from the National Police Air Service was deployed as were armed officers to search for the stolen vehicle, which was spotted on the B5300 Silloth to Maryport road.

A high-speed pursuit followed through Mawbray, Allonby and onto the A596, where the car headed towards Aspatria. It was stopped by a police stinger – a tyre-shredding device – between Prospect and Aspatria.

Officers arrested the driver, a 19-year-old man from Wigton, on suspicion of both robberies and they recovered cash and a firearm.

Superintendent Andrew Towler, of Cumbria police, said: “Incidents like this are thankfully rare in Cumbria, and we work hard to keep our local communities safe.

“I would like to thank the officers involved for such an effective and professional resolution to a potentially dangerous situation.”

The suspect was today being questioned by detectives.

George Street in Wigton was sealed off yesterday afternoon (Friday) to allow forensics teams to comb the scene.

The A596 was also closed for two hours, and traffic diverted.

Police are appealing for anyone with to call Cumbria police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

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