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Suspected armed robbers arrested in Blackburn
10:00am Sunday 20th October 2013 in News
Police descended on a Blackburn street to arrest suspected armed robbers.
Two men had guns trained on them by armed officers as they left a terrace house with their hands up.
Police vehicles had closed a section of Hollin Bridge Street while officers kept residents away from the scene.
The men were arrested on suspicion of the armed robbery of the McDonald’s in Livesey Branch Road on Wednesday night.
Staff at the fast food restaurant were forced to hand over cash by two gunmen after a supervisor was headbutted.
On Friday several police cars and vans, dogs, uniformed officers and armed response officers brought the road to a standstill.
Armed officers wearing bullet proof vests urged the men to come out as neighbours watched from behind barriers.
Chief Superintendent Bob Eastwood, who commanded the controlled arrest, praised the ‘professionalism’ of his officers.
He said: “We have been investigating an armed robbery and because of information we were in possession of, made inquiries at an address in Ewood.
“As a result two people were arrested safely and are now in custody at Greenbank Police Station.
“I used armed officers due to concerns these people may have access to a firearm.
This way the arrest was made with the safety of the public in mind. “Two people were arrested in a controlled manner by our armed officers who have shown amazing professionalism.”
Neighbours and bystanders said they were shocked to see such a strong police presence appear suddenly at 3.30pm.
One passer by, Carol Jones, said: “I don’t live here but I have friends who do, so I stopped as I was driving by.
“This used to be such a quiet neighbourhood and now there are things happening which need a police response with guns. I hope the officers got what they came for.
“It was amazing to watch those men come out with their hands up like that.”
Another bystander, Robert Willis, said: “It was just incredible and happened really quickly as I was going for the paper.
“One minute it was a quiet terraced street, the next minute police and police dogs were swarming all over the place.
“They said I couldn’t walk past, so I just waited. The next thing the police had got their guns out. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
One neighbour said: “I’ve lived here almost twenty years and it was such a lovely area at one time.
“Now, there is always something like this going on. “There seems to be violence, or drinking or things being stolen. I’ve been saying it gets worse every year. This is the most police I’ve ever seen in one place.”
Her husband added: “The area is going downhill but it is reassuring to see the police show up in force like this.”
A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said a 24-year-old man from Blackburn and an 18-year-old man from Accrington had been arrested in the pre-planned operation.