Attempted armed robbery in post office in Cheltenham
A MANHUNT has been launched after an attempted armed robbery in Cheltenham.
A man carrying a metal bar – described by police as a socket wrench – demanded money from the cashier at the Post Office in Hatherley Road, Up Hatherley, at around 11.20am on Saturday.
When the cashier refused, he smashed a glass screen before fleeing empty- handed.
A mother and her child were in the Post Office at the time.
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The man ran off towards Windermere Road. Owner Mahesh Patel said his staff were shaken by the incident, but escaped unhurt.
He said: "I wasn't working on Saturday, but I had two staff members in there.
"There was also a customer in the shop with her child.
"She was being served by one of my colleagues when this happened.
"It must have been quite scary for them.
"We'll have to close today. There's no way we can be open, not after what happened. It was a horrible incident.
"We have a very good system of support from the Post Office but it is something I never thought would have happened to me."A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said he knew Mr Patel well and said he was upset that his friend had been put through this ordeal.
He added: "The man went in and asked for the money, and when they didn't give the money, he broke the glass.
"They are good people, so I have no idea why this has happened."
Police have described the man as white, around 5ft 8in tall and of slim build.
He was wearing a dark coloured snood-type scarf and a light grey hooded jacket and was carrying a dark plastic bag with a heavy object covered in dark material inside.
A spokesman for the police said: "The offender entered the shop carrying a metal implement, possibly a car wheel remover, and asked the cashier to hand over money. He then smashed the glass counter screen and left the shop empty-handed."
A Post Office spokesman said they would be doing all they could to support the staff.
He added: "The people who run our Post Office branches provide important services to local communities.
"Any robbery or attempted robbery is very traumatic for the victims and we will be supporting the police in their efforts to apprehend those responsible."
Anyone with information that could help the investigation should contact Gloucestershire police on 101, quoting incident 169 of March 2.