Masked robbers armed with a gun carried out a raid on a village post office last night (Wednesday, December 3).
Two men wearing Balaclavas entered Cromford Post Office, in Scarthin, at approximately 5.15pm and threatened the sub post master, Carol Easton, and her daughter with a small black hand gun, before making off with a large sum of cash.
Dave Mountford, landlord of the Boat Inn, opposite the post office, was the last customer to enter the premises prior to the incident.
He said he thinks the robbers must have been watching the building and entered just minutes after he left.
“I can’t get my head around the fact that I walked out and they walked in and I didn’t see them,” Dave continued.
Carol and her daughter are said to be unharmed but ‘shaken’ by the incident, which sent shock waves through the community.
Dave’s wife Lorraine added: “It’s just a huge shock for the village. We feel like we’re in mourning.”
The couple’s daughter Jamie, 17, said the community is now rallying around Carol and her family in support.
“Everyone keeps giving her food, but I think it’s just nice to show a bit of support,” she added.
Further up the street, David Mitchell, who owns Scarthin Books, said: “Wirksworth has not got a post office at the moment, which means Cromford has got a higher turnover, which has perhaps brought these people to it.
“I thought we were fairly safe from robbers on this narrow one–way street because of the difficulties of getting vehicles up here.
He added that it was ‘distressing’ that the post office had been targeted in such a way.
“Carol does a fantastic job,” David added. “She really is a hub for the village.”
Police are currently speaking to residents nearby to determine if they might have seen anything.
Inspector Richard Booth, in charge of policing in the Dales, said: “We’re trying to urge anybody who thinks they might have any information at all to come forward.”
He said the police particularly wish to speak to anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously or driving at speed around the time of the offence.
Insp Booth added: “Thankfully these type of offences are very rare, particularly in this area.
“We’re doing everything we can to identify these offenders.”
The offenders are described as being two males of slim build, both wearing Balaclavas. One was wearing a grey hooded top, the other was wearing a dark blue waterproof jacket with white piping.
A Post Office spokesman said: “The people who run our post office branches provide important services to local communities. Any robbery or attempted robbery is very traumatic for the victims and we will be supporting the police in their efforts to apprehend those responsible. Post Office would urge anyone with information to contact the police.”
If you saw anything call the police on 101.