Do you know purple-handed bandits? Shotgun and sledgehammer-wielding men rob Wigan Asda cash carriers

By Danielle Wainwright

Two thugs in balaclavas robbed cash delivery drivers at a Wigan supermarket with a sledgehammer and a shotgun – battering one worker who was only saved from serious injury by his helmet.

In the 7am robbery at Asda on Windermere Road on Friday, one of the thugs struck the driver from a security firm across the head with the hammer, but fortunately he was not injured.

The thieves took a cash box containing a substantial amount of money, but were sprayed with purple dye when the safety feature of the box was activated.

Detective Sergeant Paul Rollinson said: “This was an audacious robbery in broad daylight by two offenders armed with extremely intimidating weapons.

“The fact that one of the drivers was wearing his helmet is the only reason he did not suffer a serious head injury when struck with the sledgehammer.”

A grey Nissan Qashqai pulled up and two offenders wearing balaclavas got out, assaulted the men and stole the money.

They then took off in the Nissan, which was stolen from the Newton-le-Willows area, and dumped it on Orchard Close in Leigh before getting into a white Mercedes to escape.

Police are now appealing to anyone with information about the robbery to come forward.

DS Rollinson said: “That the offenders were prepared to carry through their threat of violence means they need to be apprehended.

“I would appeal to anyone who has information about this robbery to come forward. In particular, I would like to hear from anyone who has information about the movements of either the grey Nissan Qashqai or the white Mercedes in the run-up and immediate aftermath of the robbery.

“I would also urge people to be on the lookout for anyone who has purple dye on either their clothing or their skin.

“If you are the partner or friend of these criminals and you suspect they are involved or have such dye on their clothing or skin, I would urge you in the strongest possible terms to do the right thing and call us.”

Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 7371 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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