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Suspects quizzed over armed raid

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A BURTON man has been arrested after two armed robberies and an overnight stand-off with gun-wielding police officers.

The 20-year-old is thought to have been part of the gang that targeted the Grove House post office, in Alton, near Uttoxeter, at 6.20pm on Tuesday.

Around 20 minutes later two men, one of whom was brandishing a knife, launched a raid on the Co-op store in neighbouring Tean.

Along with his two suspected male accomplices – a 36-year-old and a 37-year-old from Uttoxeter – the Burton man was eventually tracked to a flat in the East Staffordshire town (right).

Those living in and around the Ash Close apartments told the Mail how a police armed response unit’s negotiations to lure the suspects out of their hideout lasted several hours.

Neighbouring roads were cordoned off to keep pedestrians safe while officers negotiated with the suspects.

Cherry Allen, who lives opposite the flats in Windsor Road, said she feared for her children’s safety.

She said: “My first thought was for my daughter who was coming home from a shift at McDonald’s, but couldn’t get down the road because it had been cordoned off.

“She was waiting there for about an hour before the police eventually escorted her down the road.

“I heard a loud bang at around 11pm and was worried it might be gunfire, then I heard that same banging 15 minutes later.

“I moved here last year and thought it was a quiet neighbourhood, but I’m rethinking that.”

A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “A detailed investigation into the events of the evening is under way.

“The three men arrested in the early hours of Wednesday remain in police custody.

“They are a 20-year-old man from Burton and a 36 and 37-year-old, both from Uttoxeter.

“An investigation into the incidents is ongoing.”

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