Three men are starting jail terms totalling 63 years after snatching £11,000 of cash from bank staff they threatened with a hammer and crowbar.
Lee Tansey, 40, of Innings Drive, Salford, Anthony Gough, 37, of Blackmoor Drive, Liverpool, and Christopher Reuben, 32, of Wigan Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield, robbed the TSB bank in Horden on the morning of September 21, 2016.
Armed with a hammer and a crowbar, they made verbal threats to cashiers from the Blackhills Road branch and told them to get on the ground before emptying the cash draw and removing around £11,000.
The men then left in a waiting vehicle and later set fire to it on the nearby Cotsford Park estate before transferring to another vehicle.
Two women working in the bank at the time were treated for minor injuries by paramedics at the scene and two women who had be visiting as customers were also hurt, but did not need treatment.
Following the incident, Durham Constabulary arrested the trio who were released under investigation, with CCTV footage issued of the masked men as detectives worked to track down the robbers.
Durham worked alongside Greater Manchester Police to trace the men, who were later arrested for a number of other armed robberies at banks and jewellers across the country.
They have now appeared at Manchester Crown Court and each was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
Detective Sergeant Chris Woollett, from Durham City CID said: “As a result of thorough research around the movements of the vehicles and the intelligence gathered by Greater Manchester Police, we were able to monitor their behaviour and arrest them for further violent offences.
“We are happy with the sentence imposed by the court and would like to thank the members of the public who assisted us in the investigation.”