CCTV images released after armed robbery at Highcliffe Post Office

Bournemouth Echo: CCTV image of the man police would like to speak to CCTV image of the man police would like to speak to

AN armed raider burst into a post office and demanded cash in front of horrified customers.

Frightened staff at Highcliffe Post Office in Lymington Road handed over money before the gunman fled with an undisclosed sum of money.

Armed officers rushed to the normally quiet area at 9.34am to discover the man, whose face was covered with a scarf, had fled in the direction of Christchurch.

The post office was closed for the rest of the morning to allow officers to gather evidence.

Now police have appealed to members of the public for information in a bid to identify the gunman.

The offender is described as white, in his 40s, around 6ft tall and of medium build. He was wearing a black anorak, a black beanie hat with a grey stripe, grey rimmed glasses and a black scarf over his face.,

“A man entered the premises with a firearm, demanded money and left shortly afterward with a quantity of cash, heading toward Christchurch – nobody was injured” said a police spokesman.

County councillor Colin Jamieson said: “This is absolutely shocking.

“While we would all condemn these appalling criminal acts, I would like to reassure residents that the police will be doing everything they can to apprehend the perpetrator.

“We must remember that crime is at an all time low in the area but equally when even one incident happens, it does have an effect on people.”

‘It’s so quiet round here normally... ’

Lesley O’Neil, former head of Highcliffe Business Association and owner of Lesley’s Collectables in the village said: “It’s awful. The owners are so nice. We are all devastated for them.”

Cllr Myra Mawbey, who represents Highcliffe ward said: “I'm really shocked. We don’t have armed things going on in Highcliffe. It’s a sign of the times but crime is falling in the borough.”


Traders near the post office also spoke of their shock. Tina Britton, who works in Napoleon’s bar, said: “It’s so quiet round here normally – it’s scary to think this has happened.”

Bill Cotter, who owns the Crafty Wood Shop opposite the post office, said: “Police came round this morning to ask if we had any CCTV of it, but it wasn’t on unfortunately.

“I’ve heard he was wearing sunglasses on over a balaclava, so it could be difficult to track him down.”

Alan Smart, who manages the Oakhaven Hospice Trust charity shop, said: “It must have happened very quickly. I went out for a moment and when I came back the police were there.”

Dorothy Ramsay, left, who has lived in Highcliffe for 32 years, said: “Of course, it is pension day, so that might explain why he went in today. It’s very unpleasant. Things like this don’t tend to happen in Highcliffe.”

One passer-by, who didn’t want to be named, said he’d heard £800 was taken and police told traders nearby not to work alone in their shops.

Louise Buchanan, 21, left, who is visiting from Australia, said: “It’s quite a surprise to hear this has happened in a place like this. It’s very quiet here, so it’s a bit of a shock.”

The post office is run by a married couple who, when contacted by the Echo,  declined to speak.

Witnesses and anyone with information have been urged to call Dorset Police in confidence on 101 or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111. 

Mobile phone tariffs may apply.

Comments (28)

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12:54pm Tue 18 Dec 12

sofa_king_right says...

so many these days
so many these days sofa_king_right

3:16pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Mike Oxbig says...

sofa_king_right wrote:
so many these days
When needs must......
[quote][p][bold]sofa_king_right[/bold] wrote: so many these days[/p][/quote]When needs must...... Mike Oxbig

3:58pm Tue 18 Dec 12

l'anglais says...

sofa_king_right wrote:
so many these days
Of course there was no thieving back in the good old days.
[quote][p][bold]sofa_king_right[/bold] wrote: so many these days[/p][/quote]Of course there was no thieving back in the good old days. l'anglais

4:04pm Tue 18 Dec 12

wonderway says...

"I'm really shocked. We don't have armed things going on in Highcliffe.

stupid woman, you do now, councilors face the real world crime rates a covered up by governments by reassessing criteria to ensure their policing cuts dont cause to much public anger lots of offenses are not even logged so face the facts crooks will rob PO banks corner shops for money they know they will only get couple of years if caught armed robbery should carry 10 years with no parole or sentencing reduction but will never happen so face the facts this type of crime will rise
"I'm really shocked. We don't have armed things going on in Highcliffe. stupid woman, you do now, councilors face the real world crime rates a covered up by governments by reassessing criteria to ensure their policing cuts dont cause to much public anger lots of offenses are not even logged so face the facts crooks will rob PO banks corner shops for money they know they will only get couple of years if caught armed robbery should carry 10 years with no parole or sentencing reduction but will never happen so face the facts this type of crime will rise wonderway

4:27pm Tue 18 Dec 12

EGHH says...

As Cameron's and Osborne's policies hit the poor there will be more raids on shops and banks. Yet they've cut the police! No wonder Clegg is distancing the LibDems from the Tories. He knows they are a one term parliament with Tory voters leaving in droves to UKIP. He wants to make sure he cleans up his party's image in time for the next general election.
As Cameron's and Osborne's policies hit the poor there will be more raids on shops and banks. Yet they've cut the police! No wonder Clegg is distancing the LibDems from the Tories. He knows they are a one term parliament with Tory voters leaving in droves to UKIP. He wants to make sure he cleans up his party's image in time for the next general election. EGHH

4:35pm Tue 18 Dec 12

whataboutthat says...

Risking an 8 - 10 stretch for a few hundred quid/low thousands is indicative of desperation.
Risking an 8 - 10 stretch for a few hundred quid/low thousands is indicative of desperation. whataboutthat

4:48pm Tue 18 Dec 12

portia6 says...

No area is immune and we are in a
recession so its not a surprise! We
live in a diverse society and the rich
seem to get richer and the poor worse
off!
No area is immune and we are in a recession so its not a surprise! We live in a diverse society and the rich seem to get richer and the poor worse off! portia6

5:29pm Tue 18 Dec 12

GAHmusic says...

Armed robberies do seem to be on the increase in the BH area and like mentioned above they must be very desperate people to do them all I can say is if you are ever caught up in one just play safe and go along with them because the possible negative concequences of heroics are not worth the few quid you are saving.
Armed robberies do seem to be on the increase in the BH area and like mentioned above they must be very desperate people to do them all I can say is if you are ever caught up in one just play safe and go along with them because the possible negative concequences of heroics are not worth the few quid you are saving. GAHmusic

5:29pm Tue 18 Dec 12

GAHmusic says...

Armed robberies do seem to be on the increase in the BH area and like mentioned above they must be very desperate people to do them all I can say is if you are ever caught up in one just play safe and go along with them because the possible negative concequences of heroics are not worth the few quid you are saving.
Armed robberies do seem to be on the increase in the BH area and like mentioned above they must be very desperate people to do them all I can say is if you are ever caught up in one just play safe and go along with them because the possible negative concequences of heroics are not worth the few quid you are saving. GAHmusic

5:42pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Mcfly77 says...

Definate football thug.'Stone Island' jacket wort a couple of hundred quid.Should have sold that! Then again.probably fake
Definate football thug.'Stone Island' jacket wort a couple of hundred quid.Should have sold that! Then again.probably fake Mcfly77

6:01pm Tue 18 Dec 12

O'Reilly says...

Terrible picture. It looks like gran from the Giles cartoons.
Terrible picture. It looks like gran from the Giles cartoons. O'Reilly

6:41pm Tue 18 Dec 12

djd says...

I wonder if there is an link between this incident and the ones at Lymington nad Brockenhurst. Not that many miles between them, but covered by two different police forces..I wonder if they talk to each other.
I have just watched South Today and seen a pathetic excuse for a senior police officer almost condone the two robberies in Brockenhurst and Lymington. He says the man is probably desperate and needs the money and it's alright because he hasn't offered any violence.
Goodness know what will happen if they are lucky enough to catch him, perhaps a whip round at the police station to tide him over Xmas.
If this is the attitude of the police towards criminals we should get back our taxes we pay towards their services. Incompetence isn't polite enough.
I wonder if there is an link between this incident and the ones at Lymington nad Brockenhurst. Not that many miles between them, but covered by two different police forces..I wonder if they talk to each other. I have just watched South Today and seen a pathetic excuse for a senior police officer almost condone the two robberies in Brockenhurst and Lymington. He says the man is probably desperate and needs the money and it's alright because he hasn't offered any violence. Goodness know what will happen if they are lucky enough to catch him, perhaps a whip round at the police station to tide him over Xmas. If this is the attitude of the police towards criminals we should get back our taxes we pay towards their services. Incompetence isn't polite enough. djd

6:53pm Tue 18 Dec 12

kazzy70 says...

Ive lived in highcliffe for 42 years and has never know highcliffe post office get hit but I do feel that the going on in Lymington has something to do with this as highcliffe is a small post office but will have a fair bit of money in it as highcliffe is like lymington a well off area with lots of rich retired people
Ive lived in highcliffe for 42 years and has never know highcliffe post office get hit but I do feel that the going on in Lymington has something to do with this as highcliffe is a small post office but will have a fair bit of money in it as highcliffe is like lymington a well off area with lots of rich retired people kazzy70

7:10pm Tue 18 Dec 12

kazzy70 says...

paul.p wrote:
I thought that you had to be retired to live in Highcliffe....
Im standing my ground to all the oaps and retired that are trying to push the young families out of highcliffe, as Im a local and not from London but i still dont know who that man is
[quote][p][bold]paul.p[/bold] wrote: I thought that you had to be retired to live in Highcliffe....[/p][/quote]Im standing my ground to all the oaps and retired that are trying to push the young families out of highcliffe, as Im a local and not from London but i still dont know who that man is kazzy70

7:43pm Tue 18 Dec 12

RivermeadMike says...

djd wrote:
I wonder if there is an link between this incident and the ones at Lymington nad Brockenhurst. Not that many miles between them, but covered by two different police forces..I wonder if they talk to each other.
I have just watched South Today and seen a pathetic excuse for a senior police officer almost condone the two robberies in Brockenhurst and Lymington. He says the man is probably desperate and needs the money and it's alright because he hasn't offered any violence.
Goodness know what will happen if they are lucky enough to catch him, perhaps a whip round at the police station to tide him over Xmas.
If this is the attitude of the police towards criminals we should get back our taxes we pay towards their services. Incompetence isn't polite enough.
I watched Meridian Tonight, and guess what? There was no mention of the Highcliffe Post Office robbery!

Obviously if it had happened in Reading or Oxford it would have been the major story.
[quote][p][bold]djd[/bold] wrote: I wonder if there is an link between this incident and the ones at Lymington nad Brockenhurst. Not that many miles between them, but covered by two different police forces..I wonder if they talk to each other. I have just watched South Today and seen a pathetic excuse for a senior police officer almost condone the two robberies in Brockenhurst and Lymington. He says the man is probably desperate and needs the money and it's alright because he hasn't offered any violence. Goodness know what will happen if they are lucky enough to catch him, perhaps a whip round at the police station to tide him over Xmas. If this is the attitude of the police towards criminals we should get back our taxes we pay towards their services. Incompetence isn't polite enough.[/p][/quote]I watched Meridian Tonight, and guess what? There was no mention of the Highcliffe Post Office robbery! Obviously if it had happened in Reading or Oxford it would have been the major story. RivermeadMike

7:57pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Sovietobserver says...

djd wrote:
I wonder if there is an link between this incident and the ones at Lymington nad Brockenhurst. Not that many miles between them, but covered by two different police forces..I wonder if they talk to each other.
I have just watched South Today and seen a pathetic excuse for a senior police officer almost condone the two robberies in Brockenhurst and Lymington. He says the man is probably desperate and needs the money and it's alright because he hasn't offered any violence.
Goodness know what will happen if they are lucky enough to catch him, perhaps a whip round at the police station to tide him over Xmas.
If this is the attitude of the police towards criminals we should get back our taxes we pay towards their services. Incompetence isn't polite enough.
djd, The police officer quoted 'he hasn't offered any violence !!! and the kidnap victim's husband in Lymington received a head injury. The kidnap victim is now profusely criticizing the police response time to the incident - quote - she returned home after the ordeal, and despite both her and her husband having made previous 999 calls during the kidnap, the police still had not arrived at the house !!!
See the report in the Southampton Daily Echo ,which includes my posting about the police witness appeal , that explains the misleading information given out to the press, regarding a vital incident during the kidnap.
[quote][p][bold]djd[/bold] wrote: I wonder if there is an link between this incident and the ones at Lymington nad Brockenhurst. Not that many miles between them, but covered by two different police forces..I wonder if they talk to each other. I have just watched South Today and seen a pathetic excuse for a senior police officer almost condone the two robberies in Brockenhurst and Lymington. He says the man is probably desperate and needs the money and it's alright because he hasn't offered any violence. Goodness know what will happen if they are lucky enough to catch him, perhaps a whip round at the police station to tide him over Xmas. If this is the attitude of the police towards criminals we should get back our taxes we pay towards their services. Incompetence isn't polite enough.[/p][/quote]djd, The police officer quoted 'he hasn't offered any violence !!! and the kidnap victim's husband in Lymington received a head injury. The kidnap victim is now profusely criticizing the police response time to the incident - quote - she returned home after the ordeal, and despite both her and her husband having made previous 999 calls during the kidnap, the police still had not arrived at the house !!! See the report in the Southampton Daily Echo ,which includes my posting about the police witness appeal , that explains the misleading information given out to the press, regarding a vital incident during the kidnap. Sovietobserver

8:19pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Wageslave says...

Its nearly Christmas so this chap can't lose. He either gets a nice little windfall from his swag,or a nice warm comfey cell for Christmas and a professionally cooked Christmas dinner, plus choice of 5 different menus until he leaves.Visit a country with a rat infested dungeon for a prison and the criminals are not queueing to get in.
Its nearly Christmas so this chap can't lose. He either gets a nice little windfall from his swag,or a nice warm comfey cell for Christmas and a professionally cooked Christmas dinner, plus choice of 5 different menus until he leaves.Visit a country with a rat infested dungeon for a prison and the criminals are not queueing to get in. Wageslave

10:55pm Tue 18 Dec 12

spooki says...

I don't care if he's desperate for money. Lots of us out there are short of cash but we don't all go about threatening people in their homes or workplaces. Need money? Sell something. Go without something else. Grow up and accept your situation. Are we meant to feel sorry for him? Take some responsibility and don't just take someone's else stuff/money! Good luck to the staff in the banks & post offices that have been robbed. It doesn't matter if he didn't use any violence, the threat is there and I would be really nervous going back to work if it happened to me.
I don't care if he's desperate for money. Lots of us out there are short of cash but we don't all go about threatening people in their homes or workplaces. Need money? Sell something. Go without something else. Grow up and accept your situation. Are we meant to feel sorry for him? Take some responsibility and don't just take someone's else stuff/money! Good luck to the staff in the banks & post offices that have been robbed. It doesn't matter if he didn't use any violence, the threat is there and I would be really nervous going back to work if it happened to me. spooki

10:57pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Tassie says...

Nice to see all the judges & jurors are all in, but no one gives a thought for the poor staff held at gunpoint & how terrifying it must've been for them. I hope none of you ever have to be in that kind of situation, I know someone who was & even now after 5+ years, it still gives them nightmares!!! My thoughts are with those people & I hope they get the ****!
Nice to see all the judges & jurors are all in, but no one gives a thought for the poor staff held at gunpoint & how terrifying it must've been for them. I hope none of you ever have to be in that kind of situation, I know someone who was & even now after 5+ years, it still gives them nightmares!!! My thoughts are with those people & I hope they get the ****! Tassie

10:58pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Tassie says...

spooki wrote:
I don't care if he's desperate for money. Lots of us out there are short of cash but we don't all go about threatening people in their homes or workplaces. Need money? Sell something. Go without something else. Grow up and accept your situation. Are we meant to feel sorry for him? Take some responsibility and don't just take someone's else stuff/money! Good luck to the staff in the banks & post offices that have been robbed. It doesn't matter if he didn't use any violence, the threat is there and I would be really nervous going back to work if it happened to me.
Hear hear! Well said.
[quote][p][bold]spooki[/bold] wrote: I don't care if he's desperate for money. Lots of us out there are short of cash but we don't all go about threatening people in their homes or workplaces. Need money? Sell something. Go without something else. Grow up and accept your situation. Are we meant to feel sorry for him? Take some responsibility and don't just take someone's else stuff/money! Good luck to the staff in the banks & post offices that have been robbed. It doesn't matter if he didn't use any violence, the threat is there and I would be really nervous going back to work if it happened to me.[/p][/quote]Hear hear! Well said. Tassie

6:25am Wed 19 Dec 12

Turtlebay says...

paul.p wrote:
I thought that you had to be retired to live in Highcliffe....
Nah mate, I was born in Highcliffe!
[quote][p][bold]paul.p[/bold] wrote: I thought that you had to be retired to live in Highcliffe....[/p][/quote]Nah mate, I was born in Highcliffe! Turtlebay

7:59am Wed 19 Dec 12

Lord Spring says...

kazzy70 wrote:
Ive lived in highcliffe for 42 years and has never know highcliffe post office get hit but I do feel that the going on in Lymington has something to do with this as highcliffe is a small post office but will have a fair bit of money in it as highcliffe is like lymington a well off area with lots of rich retired people
Rich retired people would not be queing collecting their pension from the P.O. they would have bank accounts to pay their share dividends into.
[quote][p][bold]kazzy70[/bold] wrote: Ive lived in highcliffe for 42 years and has never know highcliffe post office get hit but I do feel that the going on in Lymington has something to do with this as highcliffe is a small post office but will have a fair bit of money in it as highcliffe is like lymington a well off area with lots of rich retired people[/p][/quote]Rich retired people would not be queing collecting their pension from the P.O. they would have bank accounts to pay their share dividends into. Lord Spring

10:15am Wed 19 Dec 12

dobrojoe says...

People who buy cheap CCTV equipment thinking that it is a deterrent are wrong. All you get are fuzzy, low resolution video pictures (if they are even working) that are useless. Places like Post Offices with a lot of loose cash should expect incidents like this, especially coming up to Christmas. They should have appropriate security measures in place that DO act as deterrents and provide useful images from multiple angles along with voice recordings. They might be able to disguise their faces but their voiceprints are harder to hide.
People who buy cheap CCTV equipment thinking that it is a deterrent are wrong. All you get are fuzzy, low resolution video pictures (if they are even working) that are useless. Places like Post Offices with a lot of loose cash should expect incidents like this, especially coming up to Christmas. They should have appropriate security measures in place that DO act as deterrents and provide useful images from multiple angles along with voice recordings. They might be able to disguise their faces but their voiceprints are harder to hide. dobrojoe

11:12am Wed 19 Dec 12

Dont drop litter says...

Mike Oxbig wrote:
sofa_king_right wrote:
so many these days
When needs must......
There is never a justification for stealing.
[quote][p][bold]Mike Oxbig[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sofa_king_right[/bold] wrote: so many these days[/p][/quote]When needs must......[/p][/quote]There is never a justification for stealing. Dont drop litter

11:14am Wed 19 Dec 12

Dont drop litter says...

whataboutthat wrote:
Risking an 8 - 10 stretch for a few hundred quid/low thousands is indicative of desperation.
or maybe stupidity, or a drug problem. I am guessing drugs.
[quote][p][bold]whataboutthat[/bold] wrote: Risking an 8 - 10 stretch for a few hundred quid/low thousands is indicative of desperation.[/p][/quote]or maybe stupidity, or a drug problem. I am guessing drugs. Dont drop litter

11:24am Wed 19 Dec 12

Tom 'Boscombe' Jones says...

Seeing as Boscombe is the rehab centre of the UK, and also services the prisons through half way houses sex offender units and drug rehabs, the sheer amount of criminals shipped to Boscombe is astounding, that there is an increase in crime in the entire BH area is a direct consequence of these people or acquaintances of them. What the council has been allowing to happen to Boscombe for 30 years now will affect the whole of Bournemouth for at least as long especially as the recession worsens and austerity bites. At least I can say I've never voted any of these crooked developers into power. Any earnest politician in the area is quickly sidelined and kicked off their committies.
Seeing as Boscombe is the rehab centre of the UK, and also services the prisons through half way houses sex offender units and drug rehabs, the sheer amount of criminals shipped to Boscombe is astounding, that there is an increase in crime in the entire BH area is a direct consequence of these people or acquaintances of them. What the council has been allowing to happen to Boscombe for 30 years now will affect the whole of Bournemouth for at least as long especially as the recession worsens and austerity bites. At least I can say I've never voted any of these crooked developers into power. Any earnest politician in the area is quickly sidelined and kicked off their committies. Tom 'Boscombe' Jones

2:20pm Wed 19 Dec 12

AdamSFC says...

Wageslave wrote:
Its nearly Christmas so this chap can't lose. He either gets a nice little windfall from his swag,or a nice warm comfey cell for Christmas and a professionally cooked Christmas dinner, plus choice of 5 different menus until he leaves.Visit a country with a rat infested dungeon for a prison and the criminals are not queueing to get in.
I hear they also get Swedish back massages in prison, and goose down duvets and pillows, oh and apparently you get your own butler as well!! If you think it's so lovely why don't you commit a crime and get sent there?
[quote][p][bold]Wageslave[/bold] wrote: Its nearly Christmas so this chap can't lose. He either gets a nice little windfall from his swag,or a nice warm comfey cell for Christmas and a professionally cooked Christmas dinner, plus choice of 5 different menus until he leaves.Visit a country with a rat infested dungeon for a prison and the criminals are not queueing to get in.[/p][/quote]I hear they also get Swedish back massages in prison, and goose down duvets and pillows, oh and apparently you get your own butler as well!! If you think it's so lovely why don't you commit a crime and get sent there? AdamSFC

5:32pm Wed 19 Dec 12

goldensnowfairy says...

its no real surprise is it? Highcliffe is regarded a rich village. Brock and Lymington just down the road...he is probably making his way back to Boscombe!

Be interested to know what this new Police Commissioner bloke thinks...on £100k a year salary perhaps he could start his new role by sorting the crime on his patch. But there is crime and crime. Guns are terrifying. With no real deterrent things wont chenage. We need to get tough as a country.
its no real surprise is it? Highcliffe is regarded a rich village. Brock and Lymington just down the road...he is probably making his way back to Boscombe! Be interested to know what this new Police Commissioner bloke thinks...on £100k a year salary perhaps he could start his new role by sorting the crime on his patch. But there is crime and crime. Guns are terrifying. With no real deterrent things wont chenage. We need to get tough as a country. goldensnowfairy

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