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Man struck with shotgun during attempted robbery
Wednesday 16th December, 2009

Two men are in custody after a bus depot worker was struck in the head with a shotgun during an attempted armed robbery in Wigan.

Police are now appealing to anyone who has information about the incident to come forward.

The victim, who is in his 30s, was working at the First Manchester depot on Melverley Street at about 11pm on 15 December 2009 when a gang of masked men burst in.

It is believed they were targeting a cash delivery vehicle.

One of them was carrying a sawn-off shotgun.

The victim struggled with the offender before being struck in the back of the head with the butt of the gun, leaving him with a small cut.

The gang fled before they could steal any money, leaving behind the shotgun.

Police were called and within ten minutes of searching the surrounding area, two men, aged 21 and 44, were arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery. They remain in police custody for questioning.

The weapon has been recovered for forensic analysis.

Inquiries are ongoing to trace at least two other offenders who were involved in the attempted robbery. They were wearing dark clothing and ski masks, and police are asking anyone with information to come forward.

Detective Chief Inspector Bob Tonge said: "It is thanks to the speed of our response and the work of our officers who searched the surrounding area that we were able to make two arrests, and I would like to praise the officers involved.

"Stopping robbers in their tracks is a priority for Greater Manchester Police and that is why we set up Operation Vanguard, a special GMP taskforce dedicated to protecting businesses who are hit by these sorts of criminals. Together with the work of local officers, we have already achieved some good results and I hope these arrests demonstrate our commitment to protecting people's livelihoods.

"I would also like to praise the bravery of the victim who struggled with his attackers. His courage has helped us recover the weapon and that will be a key piece of evidence as this investigation moves forward."

Anyone with information about the attempted robbery is asked to call Wigan CID on 0161 856 5307 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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