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- Robbery at Lloyds TSB in Ringwood at around 9am
- Two men on a scooter rode up behind a security guard and stole a briefcase of cash
- Residents chased the robbers up the street but were unable to catch them.
- The Black Honda SH300 scooter was later found abandoned at Narrow Lane in Poulner
- Witness claims he was told £25,000 was taken by the robbers
Estate agent, Elliot Fensom, 22, said: "I was sitting here and heard shouting outside. I looked out and saw two guys with scarves over their faces speeding down the road on a moped, with our window cleaner chasing after them.
"It was all over very quickly. It's a bit of a shock, not exactly the sort of thing you expect to see in a lovely area like this."
Daniel Champion, 36, owner of Headcase Barbers, said: "I was cutting a client's hair and heard shouting outside the shop. I saw a man on a scooter and another man chasing after him.
"I thought it was a hit and run, then noticed that a money box had been dropped on the ground. My father used an umbrella to keep the rain off the box and preserve any forensic evidence then someone from the bank took over.
"It's a sign of the times, probably two character who thought Ringwood was a soft target."
According to police the robbers rode off along Mansfield Road towards the dual carriageway on a Black Honda SH300, scooter-style motorbike.
The bike has since been found abandoned at Narrow Lane in Poulner near the slip road on to the A31 eastbound.
The cash cassette was found abandoned and empty nearby.
The motorbike rider was wearing dark clothing and a black helmet. It’s thought likely they travelled from outside the area to commit the robbery.
Detectives are appealing for any witnesses or anyone with information about the crime to contact them.
Anyone with information is asked to call Lyndhurst CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Chris Patterson at the butchers said he saw the robbers throw the open money case.
He said: "The case came flying out open. The guys at Lloyds reckon those cases just pop open and they were gone in seconds. They disappeared quickly and someone from Lloyds told me they got £25,000."
Another local trader, who did not wish to be named, told the Echo: “I’m glad I wasn’t here because I’m the sort of guy who has to do something if he can.
“Something like this is a bit unexpected in Ringwood. It’s a quiet little market town. I haven’t called the police in six years.”
A hairdresser who works near to the bank, said: “My mum went to the cashpoint at Lloyds TSB and saw two people on a motorbike who appeared to have a gun. She just jumped into her car drove off.”
Hampshire Constabulary however, have said they are confident the duo did not have a gun during the robbery.
Arron said Lloyds staff were inside the bank when they heard a commotion outside.
Other witnesses said there was a struggle with the Securicor guard before the two robbers pulled his case from him.
Here's window cleaner Graham talking about how he chased the robbers:
We're just hearing more from our reporter Arron, who is still at the scene in Ringwood. He says Lloyds TSB has just reopened.
Alison Howell, secretary of Ringwood Chamber of Commerce said she had only just heard about the incident.
"Someone just told me it was on your website but I only know very vague details", she said.
"Whatever the circumstances, a robbery or attempted robbery is unusual in Ringwood.
"It's quite shocking. I hope the person involved is okay.
"Unfortunately these incidents are becoming more common and no area is immune.
"It's a sign of the times.
"But I think traders will be shocked, I think something like this would shock any community.
"It may lead to people taking extra precautions about how they deal with money in their tills, take extra safety steps.
"People look out for each other anyway but this incident could emphasise that even further."
Here's some video from our photographer Jon at the scene:
And here's a picture of Graham.
As we said earlier, reporter Arron has been speaking to Graham Gore-Thorne, a window cleaner, who was among five or six people who chased after the robbers as they fled.
He said: “I was walking down the road when I noticed a scooter with its headlights on. I heard a commotion and somebody shouted and this man outside the bank grabbed a case from the security guards.
"He jumped on the back of the scooter and as he got on, he opened the case and took the money out.
"When he threw the case on the floor, everyone stopped to look at it and they drove on, the wrong way up a one-way street.”
He says he was told they'd stolen £25,000.
Photographer Jon has just sent in these pics of the scene...
Our reporter Arron Hendy has just arrived in Ringwood and is chatting to the window cleaner who chased the robbers down the road. We'll have full details shortly.
A member of staff from Reeve Bakery in the High Street said there were still police in the town now but no-one had been into the shop.
She did not see what happened but said there were a number of police there.
Alison Smith, who owns the Simply Beauty salon close by, said it happened between 9 and 9.15am.
"I heard the shouting going on. In between going from the bank to the van apparently a motorbike pulled up with two guys on - one grabbed the bag and they rode off.
"It's been a bit of a shock of a morning.
"There are quite a lot of police officers out and about and the van is still there.
"I don't think anybody was injured but everyone is shocked that it was broad daylight and happened so quickly."
Apparently there was a helicopter up earlier following the incident
Jonathan Boswell, who owns Food for Thought on High Street, said: "There's everybody everywhere at the moment doing the forensic stuff.
"It happened before I got here to open the shop, the police cars overtook me while I was driving."
Nicola Deedman who is working at the offices at Framptons said she had heard there were lots of police outside LLoyds but she was not entirely sure what happened.
"I heard there was some kind of incident but that's all. The bank is closed."
Mike Patterson, of W Patterson Butchers in High Street, has told us: "They were on a little scooter and headed up the High Street.
"It was a Securicor van. The scooter has been abandoned somewhere I have heard.
"Someone from the bank told me one of them was armed."
RT @michemitchell: Crikey, lloyds bank security van just been robbed in Ringwood. Never seen so many police in the high street!— @PaisleyProduce 01 February 2013
@Bournemouthecho looks as if two men on motorbikes got away with some briefcases just after opening time, police van and car on scene— @DH1993 01 February 2013
Two men on motorbikes have stolen cash-in-transit from a security guard at Lloyds TSB in Ringwood this morning.
Police have confirmed that money was taken from a security guard at the bank as it opened.