DETECTIVES are questioning a trio of suspected bank raiders after a break-in on Wearside.
Police arrived at the HSBC branch in Speculation Place, Concord, Washington, during the early hours of yesterday to discover its door smashed and the property ransacked.
Officers were quickly on the scene after an alarm was triggered. After a search of the area, they uncovered a money bag containing coins nearby.
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Two men, aged 43 and 27, and a 25-year-old woman were later arrested on suspicion of burglary and are being questioned by police.
Yesterday, the branch was closed, with a notice in the window that stated: “Due to a security incident overnight, this branch is unable to open for business.”
Business owners and workers today spoke of their shock at the incident.
Irem Waseem, 30, a shopkeeper at Purvis News, said other businesses on the street are nervous about further such incidents.
He said: “As soon as I came into work I heard about it. People are worried and anxious and it doesn’t give the street a nice feeling and makes other shopkeepers worried.
“People are saying this area is horrible and they are not feeling secure themselves. Customers are saying there should be a mobile police team here, especially at night.”
One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “By the time I arrived for work at 9am, everything appeared normal. The bank was closed, but that was about all.”
Another added: “There’s been trouble with break-ins at other shops along the street, but never at the bank before. It’s very unusual.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police confirmed an investigation had been launched.
“Police are appealing for witnesses after a bank in Washington was broken into,” he said.
“At 2.55am on Friday, August 31, the alarm at HSBC in Speculation Place, Concord, was activated.
“Officers attended and found the glass door of the building had been smashed and the cash desk damaged.
“Inquiries were carried out and subsequently a cash bag containing coins was recovered nearby.
“Two men aged 43 and 27 and a 25 year old woman have been arrested on suspicion of burglary and are helping police with their inquiries.”
Anyone who has any information should contact Northumbria Police non-emergency number 101 ext 69191.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.