Robbers armed with crossbow and knife caught on CCTV
A MANHUNT has been launched by police after two robbers burst into a Plymouth post office armed with a loaded crossbow and a knife.
The men targeted Efford Road Post Office and store brandishing the weapons.
Dramatic CCTV footage, obtained by The Herald, shows the robbers shoving the weapons repeatedly into the face of the terrified shopkeeper.
Investigators say they threatened the victim and demanded both money from the till and cigarettes from behind the counter.
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The CCTV footage from the store has been released by police in an attempt to identify the men, both of whom wore hooded tops and hats, but left their faces uncovered.
At one stage, the footage shows the man wielding the crossbow angrily jabbing the tip of the bolt into the shopkeeper's face, causing him a minor injury.
The robber with the knife, who appears to shout and snarl instructions to the victim, also thrusts his weapon towards the face of the shopkeeper, appearing to urge him to move faster.
The incident, which has left the shopkeeper traumatised, happened at 6.14am yesterday.
Det Sgt Scott Rothney, lead investigator, said: "From the CCTV footage it is clear this was a violent incident.
"The suspects – both of whom used their weapons to threaten their victim – acted in a very aggressive manner throughout the robbery.
"The victim, who had only opened up the post office a few minutes earlier, has been left very shaken by the incident.
"Officers have carried out door to door inquiries in the area and we are keen to hear from anybody who may have used the store in the minutes before the robbery or who may have been passing and saw two men acting suspiciously.
"Both men are considered to be dangerous and should not be approached by members of the public."
Police are particularly keen to speak to a woman who left the store less than a minute before the two robbers raced in.
The CCTV footage reveals she wore a dark-coloured coat, and carried a red and grey rucksack. She is seen to purchase what appears to be cigarette papers before leaving the building.
The knife-wielding robber was described as white, aged between 20 and 35 years and of medium build. He had dark hair and wore a white zip-up hooded top, black gloves and a dark-coloured Peruvian-style hat with a lighter coloured pattern around the band.
He wore blue or dark-colour jeans and black training shoes with a white stripe.
The robber with the crossbow was white, aged between 20 and 35 years and wore a green, mid-length jacket with the hood pulled over his head. He wore grey gloves, blue jeans and a pair of red shoes with a white band around the edge and white laces.
Investigators say a "substantial reward" has been offered by Crimestoppers for any information which leads to the arrest of the men.
Anyone with information about the incident should call police on 08452 777444 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or report online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org quoting crime reference number EC/10/13611.