‘We will catch them’: Hunt for escaped Salford prisoners continues while police quiz arrested pair

By Glen Keogh

Police have reiterated that they will find the men who escaped from a prison van in Salford yesterday as they continue to question two people who were arrested.

There are said to be dozens of detectives now involved in the investigation as more hours pass since Ryan Macdonald, 20, and Stevie McMullen, 31, were sprung from the van by masked men.

A 28-year-old woman and 24-year-old man are being interrogated in custody after they were arrested at a house on the Ordsall estate yesterday on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Chief Superintendent Kevin Mulligan said that more police officers will be in the Ordsall area and particularly around Regent Road, where the van was ambushed.

“I would also reiterate what I said yesterday about these men – the public should not approach either man and if anyone knows where they are or saw these men escaping I would urge them to contact police immediately,” he said.

The police operation to find Macdonald and McMullen includes house-to-house enquiries and the examination of CCTV footage.

The GEOAmey prison van was ambushed on Regent Road in Salford shortly after 9am yesterday by at least three men wearing dark clothing and balaclavas.

A shotgun was used to threaten staff transporting the prisoners from HMP Altcourse to Manchester Crown court.

They smashed windows of the van and forced staff to allow Macdonald and McMullen to escape.

Five men – believed to be three offenders and the two escaped prisoners – then got back into a Saab car, which was driven a short distance to Regent Road near to the M602 roundabout and abandoned.

It is believed three ran towards Phoebe Street in the Ordsall estate and two may have further escaped on a motorbike that was found abandoned on Thurlow Street.

On Monday, the day before Macdonald’s escape, his sister Ainsley wrote on Facebook ahead of seeing him in court.

Big week, this week, court with the brother Ryan Macdonald tomorrow… wish my brother best of luck,” she said.

McDonald was due to be sentenced after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and driving offences, while McMullen was on trial after being charged with onspiracy to kidnap, conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to commit arson and other serious offences.

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