Did You Witness Nationwide Robbery?

Hampshire Police are making a fresh appeal for witnesses to a robbery in Hedge End to come forward.

An armed man threatened security guards with a sledgehammer back on Wednesday, July 13th 2011. He stole money from the Nationwide Building Society at the St John's Centre at around 12.15am, shortly after a G4S security van pulled up outside the premises.

The man was wearing a balaclava and escaped from the scene in a white BMW, either a 3 or 5 series, possibly with a P registration plate.

Officers believe that this robbery may be linked to a similar crime in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, where the suspect wore the same jacket and used an identical yellow sledgehammer.

In both cases, the offender was wearing a Nike Men's warm up suit jacket – the type often worn by footballers when training.

The robber is believed to have travelled to and from Hedge End from the M27 via Upper Northam Road, and may have parked his vehicle up in The Close, a nearby cul-de-sac. It is highly likely that he had an accomplice waiting for him.

Witnesses report seeing a man running down the direction of the pathway leading to the back of the playing field to the rear of the building society.

Detective Sergeant Jamie Wiseman, leading the investigation, said:

"This was a very professional job carried out by a man who clearly knew what he was doing and may well have done it before.

"It is extremely likely that there was a driver waiting for him, we suspect there are at least two people involved in this violent robbery.

"We urge people to look closely at the CCTV pictures in which our main suspect is clearly featured. Look at his distinctive jacket. Do you know anyone who wears a jacket like this? Do you think you may know who he is?

"If you have any information that can assist us find those who carried out this very serious crime, please contact us and help us get these men off the streets."

The main suspect is described as speaking with a Southern accent.

The sledgehammer he used had a yellow handle.

Anyone who can assist with this inquiry should call 101 and ask to speak to Eastleigh CID. Alternatively, information can be left anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.