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Shop staff threatened by armed robbers in Essex

The thieves were armed with a crowbar and hammer. Credit: PA

Shop staff were left shaken after being threatened by armed robbers in Halstead, Essex.

Four men - armed with a crowbar and hammer - walked into the Co-Op on Abels Road at around 8pm yesterday (17 January).

They forced staff to open the office safe and stole a four-figure sum of cash, before fleeing.

The men are described as wearing all black. Their faces were covered by scarves.

Police carried out a search of the area, but they could not find the suspects .

Officers are investigating whether it is linked to other robberies the Braintree district in recent months.

"This was a frightening incident for the members of staff involved.

"Essex Police will not tolerate people causing fear and threatening violence, and we are confident we will find the people responsible. "We believe the local community can play an important part in bringing these people to justice and I would urge anyone with any information about this incident or any others to come forward."

– Detective Inspector Mark Cadd, Essex Police

Hundreds of cannabis plants seized in Essex police raid

The raid happened yesterday morning. Credit: Essex Police

More than 300 hundred cannabis plants have been seized following a police raid in Essex.

Officers broke into the property in Halstead yesterday after they were tipped off by a member of the public.

The crop will now be destroyed but no arrests have been made yet.

Warrant executions like these show that we will not tolerate those who supply and produce drugs in our communities.

By taking drugs off the streets, we will have disrupted drug dealing, associated crime and we have showed others involved in drugs that thanks to intelligence from the public and our partners we will catch you.

– Sergeant Tom Bastendorff

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Parachutists trapped 20m in the air on Essex phone mast

Halstead, Essex. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Two parachutists have been rescued after getting trapped 20m in the air on a phone mast in Essex.

Firefighters were called to the A1124 Halstead Road between Halstead and Braintree just before 6pm yesterday.

It took crews more than an hour to get them safely to the ground. Paramedics were also called.

Search for missing pensioner called off after man's body discovered

Police in Essex have suspended the search for an elderly man who has been missing since October after a body was found in woodland.

Gordon Wilson, who is 82 and has dementia, was last seen near his home in Leaden Roding near Halstead. Credit: Essex Police

Gordon Wilson, who is 82 and has dementia, was last seen near his home in Leaden Roding near Halstead.

A body was found by a member of the public in woodland in Sible Hedingham on Saturday. Police say the death is not being treated as suspicious.

No formal identification has taken place yet but Gordon’s family have been updated and the police search suspended.

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Thousands of french partridges saved from barn fire in Essex

Crews arriving at the incident reported that 50 percent of the barn measuring 100m x 50m, was alight. Credit: Essex Fire and Rescue

Thousands of french partridges were saved by firefighters in Essex after a nearby barn went up in flames.

The barn on Kentish Farm in Sible Hedingham, a small village near Halstead, contained wooden flooring materials and propane gas cylinders.

Essex Fire Service were called to the barn at around 2:30am.

It took seven appliances around seven hours to put out the barn fire and prevent it from spreading to the barn the birds' were in.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage, ECFRS and the police will carry out an investigation.

Sub Officer Darren Hockley from Wethersfield Fire Station said:

"The good news is that no French partridges were hurt as a result of this fire. There were three sheds on the farm and thankfully the one housing the birds was not affected.

"The storage shed on fire contained wooden flooring and two large propane cylinders. Close by, there were thousands of partridges in a second shed and crews worked extremely hard to prevent the fire from spreading there.

"If the fire had reached the poultry shed, I have no doubt the birds would have all died. Crews did an excellent job containing the fire to save the birds. The third shed contained furniture and was unaffected."

The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage, ECFRS and the police will carry out an investigation.

Police renew witness appeal after road crash

Police are urgently trying to contact witnesses who have not yet come forward to a serious road crash in Essex.

It happened on the A131 at High Garrett, between Braintree and Halstead, at 2.15pm on Sunday February 9.

A woman was air-lifted to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridgeshire with life-threatening injuries after a collision occurred between a black Ford KA and a black Mercedes convertible.

The driver of the Mercedes and a passenger from the Ford were taken to Broomfield Hospital but later released.

The woman remains in a critical condition in hospital and we are unable to speak to her. We are, therefore, very keen to speak to other motorists who were in the area at the time and may have seen the collision between these two vehicles or witnessed events leading up to it. We believe there was a queue of traffic at the location when this happened and I am confident that there were people sitting in their cars who have valuable information for our investigation."

– Sgt Damon Bainbridge, Serious Collision Investigation Unit
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