ARMED police have arrested a man after a violent robbery at a village post office.
The drama unfolded just after 9.30am yesterday when three masked men burst into Cefn Mawr Post Office and escaped with a substantial amount of money.
Shortly after scores of police, including a crack armed response unit, stormed a house in the Whitegate area of Wrexham where they arrested a man and recovered three vehicles which had been used in the robbery.
A huge hunt is now going on to find two other people believed to have been involved in the armed raid which left subpostmaster David Taylor, 40, with head injuries which were treated by paramedics at the scene.
One witness to the robbery said: “I saw Dave, the subpostmaster. He was fighting with two big chaps with black balaclavas on.
“They had what looked to me like baseball bats but he (Dave) put up a real fight. He was trying to get the keys out of the ignition as they pulled away.
“He’s a real hero as far as I’m concerned.”
Helen Clee, manager of the nearby dental practice, said: “We heard some strange shouting coming from the direction of the post office and when we came out we
saw this guy running down the road. The police were here a few minutes later.”
Supt Neil Anderson, said: “Thankfully, the post office employee was not seriously injured. Safety of post office employees and members of the public is paramount and we are working with Post Office Securities to reassure people that everything possible is being done to protect them.
“We are very grateful to the people who have come forward to give vital information in relation to this incident and appeal to anyone who may have seen anything to contact us.”
The drama then moved to Wrexham where armed police stormed a house in the Whitegate area of the town.
Stunned neighbours said that at one point there were as many 11 police cars parked in Warwick Avenue.
A cordon was thrown around part of the avenue as the force helicopter hovered overhead.
Neighbours in Warwick Avenue said a small number of police cars drove into the avenue in pursuit of someone.
Around lunchtime the police presence increased to 11 vehicles.
These included at least two carrying police firearms officers in full, black combat kit, some carrying automatic weapons.
A blue Rover car which had been parked at the side of the road was later taken away by police. By around 3pm the police presence began to run down, with a number of vehicles leaving the avenue empty.
One resident said: “It was all very frightening and immediately brought to mind the kind of scenes we have all been seeing on our TVs of the gunmen in Cumbria and near Newcastle.
“You don’t expect to see armed police officers walking down your road.”
Another resident said: “The police blocked off the avenue at the both ends and nobody was allowed to go anywhere near the house that they seemed to be watching.
“It looked like they brought two people out of the house but I can’t be certain.
“We have no idea of what was happening because the police haven’t told us anything.”
Another man who contacted the Leader said: “One end of the street was cordoned off for about 20 minutes.
“At one point there were about 11 police cars here, including the firearms teams. I think they detained two people from one of the houses.”
Cllr Warren Coleman, who represents the Cefn ward on Wrexham Council, said news of the crime had left the community stunned.
“It is shocking. People have been phoning me up about this and they can hardly believe what has happened, they are very upset.
“There has never been anything like this in Cefn before. I don’t know the full details at the moment.
“We just hope that no one has been hurt.
“You read about incidents like this in the national Press, but never think it will happen on your own doorstep.
“That really emphasises the gravity of it.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact North Wales Police on 101, if in Wales, or 08456071001 (Welsh line) 08456071002 (English line).
Alternatively call Crimestoppers Cymru/wales anonymously on 0800 555 111 or text 66767 or email email@example.com.