Police have warned members of the public not to approach a suspect who is at large following an armed raid at Banbury’s Horton View post office today (Thursday).
Officers were called to Horton View at about noon after staff members and a customer were threatened by a man carrying a ‘barrelled object’.
Staff set off the alarm system and the offender ran off. No weapon was discharged and it is not known at this stage what was stolen.
Det Supt Jim Holmes said, “We are currently making investigations in the local area. I can assure the public that no weapons were discharged in this incident or persons injured.”
The man is described as white, over 6’ tall, in his late teens to early 20s, pale and of very slim build with a strong local accent. He was wearing a black beanie hat, a black bomber jacket top, black drainpipe jeans and white trainers. He was also carrying a white bag in his left hand. Police believe he was acting alone and was seen after the incident running on foot in the direction of the town centre and Harriers Ground Primary School.
The school’s headteacher Vicki McLean said: “A police officer came into the school at about 12pm to say there was a potential armed raid in the area. I took the decision to lock the school down, bring the children indoors and keep them inside.
“The staff have been amazing; very professional, calm and reassuring and the children behaved beautifully. We got everyone indoors within about three minutes and it was fantastic team work.
“We have now been given the go ahead for parents to collect their children from school as normal.”
The primary school and a second neighbouring school, which has not yet been identified, were placed on “lock down” by police as officers searched the area.
The incident is being treated as an ongoing firearms incident with police dog handlers, house-to-house inquiries and a force helicopter all forming part of the search for the suspect.
Numerous police officers in vehicles are now circling the Ruscote and Neithrop estates.
Detective Inspector Steve Duffy said: “If anyone sees anyone matching this description, don’t intervene or try to apprehend him. Call us on 999 and we will respond.
“There are numerous police officers searching the town as we speak.”
Police are particularly keen to hear from a number of members of the public who were using the post office before the incident and may have seen the suspect loitering outside.
A sign on the post office door states it will remain closed until tomorrow (Friday).
Staff at Harriers Ground Primary School have contacted parents reassuring them that all pupils at the school are safe.
Anyone who has information on this incident should contact Police on 999 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.