An armed mob inflicted a ‘campaign of terror’ on Ancoats in the early hours of this morning with an hour-long crime spree that saw one victim robbed at gunpoint.
Police have launched a full-scale search for a group of up to 10 young men after they also smashed windows, stole electronics and punched a man in the rampage across Oldham Road and Pollard Street between 12am and 1am.
Detective Constable David Berry has urged anyone with information to come forward and promised every available resource will be used to track down the youths and bring them to justice.
“We want to assure the public that we will be sending out extra patrols in the area over the weekend,” he said.
“Due to the size of the group, they will have been noticeable and any information you might have about one or all of the youths seen in the area at the time could help us paint a clearer picture of who was involved in this campaign of terror.
The first incident occurred on Redhill Street, where the gang smashed the window of a parked BMW, before launching a tirade of threatening abuse against residents who watched from inside their homes.
The rampage continued when the youths smashed the windows of a canal boat tied up on Ashworth Canal, close to Old Mill Street.
At around 12.15am the gang reached Lampwick Lane, where they assaulted and robbed a man and woman, punching the man and taking their mobile phones.
“We are actually also trying to track down two of the victims, the man and woman whose phones were stolen on Lampwick Lane, and I would urge them to get in touch,” said Detective Constable Berry.
The youths then moved onto Pollard Street, where they pointed what is believed to have been a firearm at a passing van at around 12.20am.
Shortly after, two of the thugs entered Fairclough Street, where they approached a parked car with a security guard inside and tapped a gun on the driver’s window.
They ordered the man out of the car and one held him at gunpoint while the other searched the vehicle, stealing a Sony tablet and the keys to the car.
One of the offenders was described as a white male, around 5ft 10in and aged around 15-16. He was wearing a grey hooded top, grey tracksuit bottoms and carrying a drawstring bag.
Another was described as a white male wearing a dark hooded top and dark tracksuit bottoms.
Anyone that witnessed any of the incidents, or that has information relating to the events, is urged to call Greater Manchester Police on 0161 856 4288 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 111 555.
Image courtesy of hugovk with thanks