CCTV released in hunt for armed bank robbers

Police investigating an armed robbery at a bank in Hathersage have released new CCTV images in the hunt for the offenders.

Two balaclava-clad men brandishing a silver handgun and a crowbar raided the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), on Main Road, Hathersage, and casually strolled off with a “substantial” amount of money in a holdall on Thursday morning.

Inspector Richard Smith, of Derbyshire police, said: “This is a very serious crime and one that is very rare in a small village like Hathersage.

“The robbery has left staff terrified and we are hoping that the public can help us with our investigation.”

Detectives have released the above CCTV footage and would like to speak to the man wearing the orange coat who was seen on Main Road between 8am and 9am on the day of the robbery and the two men wearing dark clothing who were seen at 9.05am.

Meanwhile, the British Bank Association is offering a £15,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the offenders.

Police said the men entered the bank via the roof at about 6.20am then threatened staff and stole the cash before leaving through the main entrance at 9.05am.

The offenders are described as white, in their early 40s, about 5ft 11in tall and wearing dark hooded tops, balaclavas, gloves and boots.

A Derbyshire police spokesman said: “Some of the stolen money was protected by a security device which would have released red dye when activated.

“We’d like the public to contact us if they saw anyone with red dye on them at any point.

“Also if shop owners or banks have had anyone trying to purchase items with or deposit money stained with red dye they are asked to contact officers.

“Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area on Thursday morning to call us on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

PCSO Anthony Boswell, of the Hathersage Safer Neighbourhood Team, added: “Since the incident, there’s been a uniform and plain clothes presence in Hathersage making enquires.

“If you own a CCTV system in Hathersage and you haven’t been seen by police, get in touch on 101 – it may help with enquiries.”

One shocked villager, who did not want to be named, said: “You just don’t expect this type of thing to happen in Hathersage – it’s usually such a quiet place. I hope they catch those responsible.”

The RBS branch reopened this morning after being closed since the crime.

A spokesman for RBS said: “The wellbeing of our staff is of the utmost importance at this time and we’re doing everything we can to support them.” The spokesman added: “Given the circumstances staff don’t want to speak to the press.”