Armed robbers attacked a police van with an axe after smashing in to a shopping centre in Oldham.
Shortly before 11.35pm on Thursday 25 October 2018, police were called to reports of an armed robbery at Town Square Shopping Centre.
Twelve men – armed with axes and lump hammers – parked a white Kia Sportage, a blue Skoda Yeti and a white Volkswagen Caddy directly outside the Town Square’s main entrance on Yorkshire Street.
Once inside, the dozen hammered their way into Vodafone and the Carphone Warehouse before stealing a significant quantity of phones and fleeing in the direction of the Holts Estate.
Police immediately responded and located the vehicles driving in tandem on Glodwick Road.
The officers approached the vehicles as the Skoda Yeti stopped and blocked the road, allowing the VW Caddy and Kia Sportage to flee.
A man from the Skoda Yeti then approached the officers on foot and attacked the police car with an axe before fleeing in the car towards the Holts Estate.
Thankfully the officers weren’t injured and a blue Skoda Yeti and a white Volkswagen Caddy van were later recovered on Abbey Hills Road and Wildmoor Avenue in Oldham.
No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.
Detective Constable Matthew Adshead, of GMP’s Oldham borough, said: “It is completely shocking that not only did twelve armed men carry out such a large robbery, but they also attacked a police car with an axe, causing the officers genuinely fear for their safety.
“Thankfully no one was injured but a police car, a desperately needed resource, was taken off the street at a time when we need it the most.
“We have launched a full investigation and I would urge anyone that could help us to identify any of the offenders or locate the outstanding white Kia Sportage to please get in touch.”
Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 8978 or 101 quoting reference number 2343 of 25/10/2018, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.