Two arrested after armed police surround Plymouth property
TWO men were arrested after an armed police operation, involving dozens of officers, took place in St Budeaux Square.
More than a dozen police vehicles spent much of yesterday afternoon parked up around the block of three flats at the junction of Trelawney Avenue and Wolseley Road as several armed officers carrying a combination of handgun sidearms, carbine rifles, baton rifles and blast shields, took up strategic positions.
Police tape was used to cordon off Trelawney Avenue and nearby stores, while shoppers and a growing number of spectators were left staring in shock from behind street barriers in the middle of Wolseley Road.
The building, formerly the Trelawney Arms public house, was entered at around 2pm by armed officers along with a police dog. More armed officers then entered the building, with one carrying an extendable ladder.
Police said the operation came after a report of a firearm allegedly being brandished in "a threatening manner" at an address in Wilkinson Road, Barne Barton at around 11.15pm on Monday.
As a result of the alleged incident a 29-year-old man was arrested at his home address in Whitleigh.
Further searches of properties were carried out at a number of locations around the city, finally focussing on the Trelawney Avenue address.
Shortly after 3pm the majority of the armed and unarmed officers were stood down, leaving just skeleton crew to carry out final searches.
It is understood officers were able to gain entry to a small combination-lock unit within the building, adjacent to the main door of the flats in Trelawney Avenue.
Inside officers found the man they had been searching for.
Witnesses said that as officers pulled him from the lock-up unit, armed officers suddenly appeared from nearby police vehicles and the man was held on the floor as he was placed in handcuffs.
Specialist search officers later carried out further checks of the entire property – including the lock-up – and of a silver BMW parked outside, understood to belong to the arrested man.
Police said the man, aged 26, was arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill and firearm offences.
Both men have been released on bail until April 2.
Residents in the area said they were shocked at seeing armed officers on their doorstep.
One couple, who asked not to be named, said: "There has been some strange goings on at that place recently.
"We had a black car turn up and get wheel-clamped a couple of weeks ago. It sat just outside the front door. Police came round asking if anyone knew who it belonged to. Then one night two men in hoodies turned up and took the clamp off and drove off in it.
"Then last Sunday we could hear all this noise at 2.30am, people shouting outside, honking their horn. There were people going in and out of the flats and getting into a blue Mercedes van.
"Then yesterday we saw police everywhere, cordoning it all off. It's not what you expect in your own street."
Anyone with information about the initial incident in Wilkinson road, Barne Barton on Monday night should call police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 quoting crime reference number ED/13/283.