Neighbours report 'hearing bangs' at scene of armed robbery in Hartlepool where Audi was stolen
A manhunt has been launched to find five robbers who stole an Audi from a Hartlepool address.
Cleveland Police was called to a report of an armed robbery at a property in Greenlea, in Elwick on the outskirts of Hartlepool, at 8.30pm on Tuesday, January 14.
It was reported that five men entered an address, threatened those who live there with a firearm and a machete, and then made off in an Audi S3 vehicle belonging to the victims.
The men were all wearing balaclavas and were also driving a Ford Mondeo, which was later recovered by officers in Durham.
A visible police presence remained in the street on Wednesday, January 15, with a cordon still around the house at the centre of the inquiry.
Neighbours told the Mail of their shock at what had happened – with one saying they had heard “three bangs” before cars drove off from the scene.
The resident, who didn't wish to be named, said: "I was on the telephone at the time and there were three bangs and then two cars went past. They were proper loud.
"The two cars then whizzed down the street and then around half an hour later police showed up."
Another woman living in the street added: "It's usually very quiet around here. I've never known anything quite like this to happen around here before."
No one was injured in the incident.
Firearms officers were deployed in response to the call, with officers from Northumbria and Durham Police assisting in searches for the stolen vehicle.
Members of the public reported seeing police vehicles, armed officers and dogs, in South Tyneside late on Tuesday – which Northumbria Police has confirmed were part of the searches.
A spokesman said: “We can confirm that a number of officers were in South Shields last night to carry out searches in support of Cleveland Police as part of ongoing investigation into an armed robbery in their force area.
“Nobody was arrested during the searches in South Shields.”
Cleveland Police inquiries are ongoing and officers are appealing for anyone with information regarding the men responsible or the incident to contact the force on 101 quoting 007638.
Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org.