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Armed raider tries to hijack Norwich bus

PUBLISHED: 11:00 15 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:28 02 July 2010

Peter Walsh

An armed raider tried to hijack a Norwich bus minutes after he is believed to have held-up a bookmakers on the outskirts of the city.

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An armed raider tried to hijack a Norwich bus minutes after he is believed to have held-up a bookmakers on the outskirts of the city.

The man, who was wearing a blue and grey hooded top, is alleged to have raided Coral bookmakers in the Bowthorpe Shopping Centre.

It is then believed he jumped on a First bus at the junction of Bishy Barnabee Way and Dodderman Way, in Bowthorpe and threatened the female driver.

A suspect, who is white and in his 20s, demanded money from the female driver of the number 22 bus, which was travelling from the city via Bowthorpe at just before 5pm on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for First, confirmed the incident took place, but could not say how many passengers were on the bus at the time.

Alan Pilbeam, managing director of First East England said: “At First East England the safety of our staff and passengers is our number one priority. We are working closely with the police and a full investigation is under way.”

Families living in the area have spoken of their shock at the incident, which prompted a major police search of the area involving several officers, police dogs, and the force helicopter.

A 35-year-old woman who lives in Bishy Barnabee Way, said: “We had the police here from about 3pm. There were police cars whizzing about. There was police and dogs in the field, and the police helicopter was up, but they didn't say what it was all about. They were looking for someone in a hoodie.”

A neighbour, also 35, said: “We came home and three police cars were parked by the bus stop. They were stopping all the buses. It was about 6pm. I asked what was going on, but they wouldn't say.”

David Freeman, 66, of Bishy Barnabee Way, said: “I drove down the road and saw four police cars waving people round. There was police with dogs as if they were going to go on the field and look for someone.”

Jackie Freeman, 53, who also lives on the road, said: “We could hear all the dogs and the helicopter was out.”

A Norfolk police spokesman could not confirm that the two incidents were connected but said a man had been arrested in relation to the bookmakers crime.

She said: “A 27-year-old man from the Norwich area has been arrested on suspicion of robbery. He remains in police custody where enquiries are ongoing.”

She added that enquiries in relation to the bus incident were ongoing.

Anyone with any information about the incident should call DC Keith Linstead at Norwich CID on 0845 456 4567 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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