POLICE have arrested a third man after axe-wielding bank raid suspects were involved in a high-speed road smash.
A gang struck at the NatWest in Atherton’s Market Street at 3.25pm today (Tuesday), threatening staff with axes.
The three intruders fled with a quantity of cash and made their escape in a silver Mazda car that had been waiting outside.
But just minutes later a vehicle answering the getaway car’s description was involved in a crash with another vehicle on Leigh Road, Atherton, near to its junction with Kirkhall Lane.
An elderly woman driving the other vehicle collapsed at the scene. She was placed on a spinal board after complaining of back pain and was taken to hospital.
The Mazda ended up on its roof and two men were arrested at the scene. A third has since been arrested.
Before the robbery, two men wearing balaclavas forced their way into a home on Cross Street at around 2.25pm and stole a safe before they were seen smashing it with a pick axe at the back of Brook Street, WesthoughtonDS Paul Rollinson
A police spokesman confirmed that the money stolen in the raid had been recovered.
Three men, aged 22, 24 and 34 remain in police custody for questioning.
Now officers are appealing for information prior to the offence.
Detective Sergeant Paul Rollinson said: “Before the robbery, two men wearing balaclavas forced their way into a home on Cross Street at around 2.25pm and stole a safe before they were seen smashing it with a pick axe at the back of Brook Street, Westhoughton. We do not know if anything was taken.
“We do know the car was stolen from a house on Lawson Avenue on Sunday, June 7, between 2am and 9am and would ask anyone who may have witnessed either of these events to call us.”
Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 856 7225 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.