EAST WHITTINGTON EVENING STANDARD
ARMED DIAMOND ROBBERY
CAR CHASE IN BRIGGSTOWN
SHOOTING AT AIRFIELD
The Borough was left reeling today after a town wide police chase which lead to a number of arrests and a least one armed robber dead on the tarmac of Whittington Airfield.
At 11.30 this morning four or five people entered Ranter's Jewellers on Pond Street, according to eyewitness Joe Walker, "I was in Ranter's buying some stuff for the girls, know what I mean? When in strolls these geezers and this bird all armed to the teeth; one bloke fires his nostrils into the ceiling and another points this machine gun at Jerry Ranter and says "give us the diamonds". The bird (and I'd like to see her without her stocking mask, right?) she gives it some verbals about this being an appropriation for the worker's army. I keep shtum and out they trot with a good collection of old Jerry's finest uncuts; they all pile into cars and off they go."
Uniformed officers arrived too late at the scene but the alert had gone out and The Flying Squad were already haring into action. One getaway car was picked up on the Church Road junction and pursued all the way into Briggstown where they were intercepted and driven off the road. One robber ran off but another was arrested by DC "Bammo" Banham. A community spokesman for Briggstown later said "Dey hit dat guy hard and he didn get up easy, de cars were all over de place. One guy he does a runner but dat cop he's no sprinter heheh! Tell you one thing - we aint gonna take it if dey come down here with that policing."
Meanwhile, the second car was pursued to the Whittingham Airfield where they tried to elude the Police in the old hangars; the driving skills of DS Owens held good though and eyewitnesses report the getaway car being rammed, crashing to a halt and two detectives doubling back. Automatic fire was clearly heard in the Airfield Offices "Yes, there was a semi automatic weapon fired" says Reg Curran, Traffic Controller, "a .30 I think may be an M1 carbine. Then several shots from a heavy calibre pistol. I looked out and saw a bloke sprinting off but this ginger chap tore after him, rugby tackled him and then rabbit punched him."
A Police spokesman later said "One armed robber was shot dead by DCI Hacker, two more arrests were made and a number of weapons recovered". There are reports that a man and a woman were seen driving at speed along Mill Lane - just outside Briggstown - on a motorbike; speculation is rife that the diamonds and the ring leaders escaped.
Rob Saunders was arrested and charged with armed robbery, found guilty he was sentenced to 15 years; an appeal is underway on grounds of evidential irregularities
Johhny Ryan was shot by DCI Hacker whilst resisting arrest
Chris Barnes was sentenced to 15 years for armed robbery
Two .44 magnums, a Luger and an M1 carbine were recovered
None of the diamonds stolen from Ranters have been found
DCI Jim Hacker has made the following statement:
"What we are hearing is that these are not decent ordinary criminals, they are left wing loons who are ripping off hard working people. We are goung to bring them in. All of them."