MASKED men attempted to ram raid a Trentham bank and torched two vehicles before stealing a car from a motorist.
Three or four men in a green flat-back vehicle struck at Natwest in Longton Road shortly after 12pm yesterday (Thursday).
They tried to ram the building but failed, and set their vehicle on fire. They then got into a silver Vauxhall Vectra and travelled along Barlaston Old Road.
They set the Vectra ablaze after it was rendered undriveable by a collision with a Royal Mail van and stole a blue Peugeot 205, which was being driven by a woman and sitting in stationary traffic. This vehicle was found abandoned in woods on Chivelstone Grove.
Staffordshire Police are continuing to carry out detailed inquiries. Their ground searches were assisted by the force helicopter and they have also been working with neighbouring forces.
Staffordshire Fire Service also attended the scene yesterday and Barlaston Old Road was closed to traffic for a short time in the afternoon.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Giles, who is leading the investigation, said: “This is a very fast-moving inquiry.
“The offenders have utilised several vehicles in a very short space of time. Those vehicles will now be recovered and forensically examined.
“Fortunately, no-one has been injured and the offenders did not get away with any cash from the bank, but have caused extensive damage in their attempt to do so.
“Scenes of crime officers are carrying out a detailed examination of the scene, and a team of officers are collating witness statements and studying CCTV footage from the locality.
“High visibility patrols by neighbourhood officers have been increased in the area to provide reassurance and update the community.
“I would encourage anyone with information, who has not yet come forward, to contact us.”
Anyone with information should contact Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 261 of April 12, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.