Robbers on the run after daylight bank raid in Leicester
Detectives were today hunting two armed robbers who walked into a bank, threatening a cashier and robbing customers.
The pair, believed to have been carrying a handgun, struck at Santander, in Narborough Road, Leicester, just after midday on Saturday.
Neighbouring traders said people who were outside the bank at the time also saw the two men turn on frightened female customers and demand their jewellery before making off on foot.
Hawbir Ali, who works in nearby Euro Food, said the robbery had left him frightened.
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"I did not see it myself but have heard all about it," he said.
"Someone who was outside the bank at the time it happened said he saw them telling the ladies in the bank to hand over their rings.
"It is very shocking and it has of course made me frightened.
"I was working at the time and actually it was very quiet in the area when it happened.
"People often ask me if I am frightened shutting the shop so late at night, because we close at 11pm, but I have always said no. Now I think that has changed. You wonder where will be next."
Police say the men are both white, and that they made off on foot along Danvers Road, turning right on to Compton Road.
One of the men was wearing a grey hooded top and grey trousers, while the other was wearing a black tracksuit with red stripes down each leg. One was also wearing something which covered his face.
A police spokeswoman would not confirm what was taken during the robbery.
Billie Onike, who owns Afrika Express, next door to the bank, said one of her customers saw the men running away from the scene.
"She said that there had been a bank robbery and there was a gun and that she had seen the men run away.
"I could not believe it had happened. I don't think any of the neighbouring shops heard anything because I don't think anyone in the bank shouted about it, but when you are being threatened with a gun, who would shout?"
Police are keen to speak to anyone in and around Narborough Road who may have seen the men or any suspicious activity.
Detective Sergeant John Farndon said: "Narborough Road on a Saturday lunchtime is teeming with people.
"I'm certain that there will be people who witnessed this robbery or who saw these men, to whom we haven't yet spoken."
The bank was shut on Saturday afternoon. Signs in the window said the branch was temporarily closed "due to an incident" but would reopen tomorrow at 11am.
A spokeswoman for Santander said: "We do not want to comment, only to say we are fully co-operating with police."
Police are still investigating a robbery at another city branch of Santander, in Woodgate, which took place on Wednesday, October 3.
They said Saturday's incident was not as yet being linked.
Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Det Sgt Farndon on 101.