Bank robbers set fire to car after getaway

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DETECTIVES hunting a gang of bank robbers who struck in South Yorkshire are appealing for witnesses who saw them making their getaway plans to come forward.

They believe the raiders weakened an area of fencing at Cudworth Welfare Park, Barnsley, which they drove through as they fled with a ‘substantial’ amount of cash.

Police say the robbers, who raided the HSBC on Barnsley Road, Cudworth, at noon on Tuesday, used a silver Proton Wira Lux as their getaway car, which was last seen driving through Cudworth Welfare Park.

It was later dumped and set ablaze in a field next to the Rose Tree estate.

Detectives investigating the raid want to hear from anyone who may have seen people tampering with the park fencing to get in touch.

They also want to speak to anyone who remembers suspicious activity around the bank in the days leading up to the raid.

Detective Chief Inspector Sean Middleton, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “It is believed the offenders escaped in a silver Proton Wira Lux vehicle which was later found burnt out in a field adjacent to the Rose Tree Estate.

“This was a well-planned attack which would have taken a lot of preparation.

“Luckily, no firearms were seen, and no-one was physically injured, however, all staff were left shaken and distressed as a result of the robbery.

“I have a dedicated team of detectives investigating this who are pursuing various lines of enquiry.

“They are prioritising forensic examinations of the scene and will be able to deal quickly with any information provided to us.

“Thankfully, this is a very rare offence in South Yorkshire and I encourage anyone with information to come forward.

“Anyone who remembers suspicious activity in the area of the park or the bank in the days leading up to or the day of the robbery can contact South Yorkshire Police or Crimestoppers.”

One of the robbers involved in the raid was 5ft 7in and of a stocky build and spoke with a northern accent.

n Anyone with information should call police on 0114 2202020, ask for Barnsley Intelligence and quote BX/94/2011.Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555111.