MACHETE wielding robbers held up terrified security van workers in a daring daylight ambush at a South Yorkshire bank.
The thugs struck as the G4S van - loaded with cash - parked up outside the Royal Bank of Scotland on High Street in Swallownest, near Sheffield.
Local residents said they had heard the robbers had been lying in wait in a side street next to the bank.
The gang, who got away with what police confirmed was a ‘large quantity of cash’, were wearing boiler suits and carrying weapons.
They fled the scene in a white transit van, which was later recovered nearby on King Street in Swallownest.
The security van and the bank were sealed off by police while forensic experts combed the scene for clues after the robbery at around 11.45am yesterday.
The road outside was also taped off and kept under police guard for hours.
Ken Taylor, who runs a hardware store on the same street, said: “It is frightening - one of my customers came in and said he saw it.
“He said there were three of them involved, one with a machete - and he said two had guns.
“We didn’t know it had happened until a customer came in to tell us, and then the police came in asking if they could have a look at our CCTV cameras in case anything was captured.”
John Rowley, who runs the Swallownest Fish Bar close to the bank, said he was stunned the raid was carried out in broad daylight.
“You never think this is going to happen in your village, especially somewhere small like Swallownest,” he said.
“What is more shocking for me is that it happened in broad daylight, in the main shopping area, when there would have been people about.
“It affected trade at first when police closed off the road but then the curiosity factor got the better of people and they started coming in to see what had happened.
“The police were quick to react, which was good, and they had the area sealed off in no time at all.
“They were busy at the scene all day.
“But it is frightening to hear of things like this happening.”
Another local businessman, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s not exactly shock that people are feeling, it’s more a case of ‘who’s next?’.”
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman confirmed: “A security van outside the Royal Bank of Scotland was targeted by an unconfirmed number of offenders carrying machetes.
“The offenders stole a large quantity of cash from the vehicle and fled the scene in a white transit van.
“The exact amount of money taken has yet to be confirmed, and police have since recovered a white transit van, believed to be the one used during the robbery, on King Street, Swallownest.
“No-one was hurt and officers are now asking the public to contact the police immediately if they witnessed the robbery, have information about what happened, or saw the white transit van in the Swallownest area, or on King Street, following the raid.
Contact South Yorkshire Police on 0114 220 2020 quoting reference 373 of September 27. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.