Police have launched a major investigation after two masked men after they attempted an armed robbery at the Santander branch on Burgess Road on the morning of 28 July.
The men entered the bank, which is located in the Gower Building at the edge of Highfield Campus, at 10.14am that morning, carrying hammers. They used the weapons to threaten the member of staff on duty and demand money. One of the men is during the to have vaulted onto the bank’s counter during the attempted robbery, which ended with the men leaving empty handed and fleeing the bank in a van.
Five police cars were sent to the scene, while a manhunt was launched to find the men, who it is believed may have been working with an accomplice. A spokesperson for Hampshire police confirmed that the suspects left the bank empty-handed, but said that staff at the branch had been left ‘shaken’ after the incident.
The bank and area outside were sealed off for several hours yesterday to allow crime scene investigators to carry out their examinations, while police officers conducted door to door enquiries at nearby homes and businesses. Dozens of items are said to have been left on the bank’s floor after they were knocked aside during the raid.
Hampshire Constabulary say they are now trying to track down a vehicle in connection with the incident. It is described as a small white van with silver foil covering its windows, registered YK03 FHG. The vehicle was last seen driving north on The Avenue shortly after the attempted raid, heading in the direction of the M27 with 2 or possibly 3 occupants. Members of the public are warned that they should not approach the vehicle if they see it, but instead contact the police.
Residents nearby claim to have heard the bank’s alarm system go off several times in recent weeks. Anyone who witnessed the incident, or has any information which may aid the investigation, is urged to contact Hampshire Police on 101.
Wessex Scene will be updated as more information becomes available.