'Shot fired' as robbers raid Nat West in High Street, Lutterworth
Two men walked into a bank and threatened staff with a gun yesterday morning.
The pair struck at Nat West in High Street, Lutterworth, shortly before 10.30am and aimed what is believed to have been a shotgun at terrified staff.
People in the town said they heard a single gunshot, although nobody was injured.
Customers were also inside the bank during the raid.
Police believe the men left the branch empty-handed.
Armed officers were called to the scene after the alarm was sounded and the branch was cordoned off.
Police forensics officers were examining the scene throughout yesterday afternoon, including searching the area for evidence of whether a gun had been fired.
Later, three men – all from Leicestershire – were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the raid.
They remained in police custody last night while they were questioned by detectives.
Lutterworth councillor Rosita Page said: "It's such a shock that there has been a robbery at the bank in a quiet town such as Lutterworth.
"A jeweller's has been robbed before, but nothing like this – especially as there seems to have been a gun involved.
"I'm just delighted that nobody has been hurt."
Town resident Eileen Derrick was in a car in nearby George Street at the time of the raid.
She said: "There was a young man running down the middle of the road, without wearing a coat. He was dodging the traffic. Then a short time later he ran back and disappeared.
"A short while later the police helicopter came overhead."
A Nat West spokeswoman confirmed no customers or members of staff were harmed.
The bank, which is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, is offering counselling to staff.
The spokeswoman said: "The safety of our customers and staff is very important, and we are working closely with the police at this time."
A police spokeswoman said: "Two men entered the premises and threatened a staff member with what is thought to be a firearm.
"They left the premises in a dark Volvo estate.
"In the interest of public safety, a firearms response was deployed.
"Three men have been arrested in connection with the incident and are currently in police custody.
"Investigations are in the very early stages."
Detective Inspector Shaun Orton said: "I'd like to speak to anyone who saw the vehicle either before or after the incident. Were you in the area? Have you seen the vehicle since?"
If you can help, contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers, which is anonymous, on 0800 555 111.