Nov 11 2009 by Gordon Robertson, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
A RUTHLESS gang armed with swords robbed terrified security guards at an Airdrie shop (Tuesday) yesterday morning.
A five-figure sum was stolen in the dawn raid at the Forrest Street branch of Spar in the Drumgelloch area of the town.
The two guards were on their way to restock the store’s cash machine when they were jumped by members of the gang.
The crooks fled the scene in a silver BMW, leaving the couriers uninjured but shaken from their ordeal.
Police have linked the cash-in-transit robbery to a botched raid in Hamilton last Friday.
Detective Inspector Tom Carty of Glasgow CID said: “This is the second time in four days that a silver- coloured BMW bearing the prefix MD07 was used in similar circumstances.
“On Friday, November 6 an attempt was made to rob security guards at a Post Office in Birkhill Road, Hamilton. Fortunately they were unsuccessful. The suspects made off in a silver BMW with the same registration. Our enquiries have revealed that these plates were stolen from a BMW 5 series car.
“I believe that the security guards were deliberately targeted and those responsible must be caught. It is totally unacceptable that security staff who are earning an honest living are being threatened by these individuals.”
Five armed thugs lay in wait for the G4S van to turn up to restock the Clydesdale Bank ATM at the busy shop.
At around 7.20am two of the gang pounced as the guards left the security vehicle and made their way to the storeroom area.
The guard carrying the box with the money is believed to have been forced into the doorway area of the store by two of the gang, who were armed with swords.
Three other gang members waited in the silver BMW getaway car.
Staff in the Spar shop were unaware of the attack until one of the security guards came in and asked them to call the police.
One of the three store workers then pressed the shop panic button to alert the police, who were said to have been on the scene in two minutes.
Officers closed the shop for more than an hour while they carried out their investigations, which also included door-to-door enquiries in the area.
The area around the ATM was cordoned off while uniformed officers stood guard and a thorough examination of the crime scene took place.
A spokesman for G4S said: “We can confirm that the crew of one of our vehicles was involved in an incident in Forrest Street, Airdrie. Neither of our couriers was injured. However, we take any attack on our staff very seriously and are committed to maintaining their safety and that of the general public.
“We continue to work closely with trade unions, the police, the Government and relevant local communities to develop initiatives to prevent attacks against those working in the cash-in-transit industry.”
Calling on witnesses to come forward, DI Carty added: “I would appeal to anyone who was in the area of Forrest Street, shortly after 7am on Tuesday morning and saw this robbery to get in touch. I would also like to speak to members of the public who perhaps saw a silver BMW parked at or near the scene to come forward. They may have information which would be relevant to our investigation.”
Any person with information regarding this robbery or the attempted robbery in Hamilton on Friday, November 6, is asked to telephone the CID at Baird Street on 0141 532 4115. Alternatively telephone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where anonymity can be maintained.