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Teens robbed at gunpoint in terrifying park ordeal
11:00am Monday 15th October 2012 in News
DETECTIVES are hunting a gang who brandished a gun and threatened to shoot or stab three teenagers in a park.
The trio produced what police believe may have been a pistol and demanded the youths hand over their mobile phones before they fled on foot.
The terrifying ordeal happened in Ringwood on Saturday night when the robbers approached the boys, two of whom were 15 years old and one aged 17, and struck up a conversation before they began threatening them.
One of the victims eventually handed over his iPhone 4 before the trio ran off from Carvers recreation ground.
Detectives say they are particularly concerned because firearm incidents are highly unusual in the town.
The alarm was raised by the father of one of the victims who had not handed over his phone and called home to tell his parents what had happened.
The robbery took place between 8pm and 8.30pm and police are appealing for help in finding them.
The three men are thought to have been in their late teens and were all wearing hooded tops and are thought to be white. One of them was also wearing distinctive Adidas-style tracksuit bottoms with stripes down each leg.
Detective constable Giulio Pizzo, based at Lyndhurst, said: “This is a very rare and unusual incident in what is normally a very peaceful area, but is nonetheless frightening for those involved.
“We believe those responsible made off in the direction of Linden Gardens towards the A338 Salisbury Road and want to hear from anyone who believes they saw them. We would also urge anyone who was in the recreation ground on Saturday night, or who saw anything suspicious or to speak to us.”
Witnesses should contact Lyndhurst police station on 101.
JAMES McGrath, 28, from Poole said: “I am shocked. We are considering buying a house here because it’s lovely and quiet and safe for children. You wouldn’t expect that to happen in Ringwood.”
CLARE O’Neill, 36, from Ringwood said: “I can’t believe that would happen here. I’ve lived here for nine years and in the area for 30 years and I’m shocked by that. We moved here because it’s quiet.”
HANNA Knibbs, 23, from Ringwood said: “That’s just something that doesn’t happen here. Things have got a bit worse in terms of vandalism and I think they should lock the park at night.”